Reviews written by registered user
nmathieson

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14 reviews in total 
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Dreamgirls (2006)
Would be Better on Stage, 21 March 2008
6/10

I am a fan of the musical genre so I am always extremely excited when modern Hollywood attempts to make one, as musicals have become very scarce in American movies. When I heard about Dreamgirls I thought it was the perfect launching vehicle for Beyonce Knowles into films that achieve some critical acclaim as oppose to the endless boring date/comedies she has been churning out. Dreamgirls was a vibrant colorful movie that had a strong soap opera quality. The story was the basic framework of any movie about Hollywood hopefuls, friends sell out and use each other and forget about the artistry of their craft in order to become successful. I don't mind a movie having a generic storyline that one can figure out in the first twenty minutes as long as the film tries new and entertaining tools to bring new life to an old tale (much like Singin In the Rain). Unfortunately Dreamgirls did not, it never took a risk anywhere and never took a step above being a B movie. Jamie Foxx (The snake of a Manager) and Jennifer Hudson (The Forgotten Friend) steal the show but their characters feel more like stage characters then movie characters. Eddie Murphy is tremendous as a James Brown sort of performer who develops life ending drug habit but absolutely gets robbed of camera time and development, why did they kill of the most interesting character in the show half way through the movie. The biggest problem with Dreamgirls is that none of the songs were memorable, if your going to make a musical I have to at least remember one of the songs, I just saw the movie and I can' remember one except Jennifer Hudson's "your gonna love me" which isn't an original song. Dreamgirls did look great though as Bill Condon did a very nice job and the performances and outfits put me right into that time period. It also showed some promise for the career of Beyonce Knowles.

Tin Cup (1996)
A Golfer's Movie, 20 May 2006
7/10

Tin cup is the story of a has been college golf star Roy (Kevin Costner). Ever since failing to qualify for the PGA tour he has resorted to running an unsuccessful driving range. He had given up any aspirations of playing pro golf until he meets an old friend's girlfriend and decides to impress her by entering the U.S. Open.

Tin Cup is unlike any other sports film I've seen. The protagonist is not a hero or great person, but a drunk and unintelligent slob. The only reason that this character is acceptable for the audience to cheer for is the charming and hilarious personality of Kevin Costner. In no way is this a great movie as the writing is sub par and the acting of anyone other than Costner is pathetic. Even Russo is annoying as the overly pompous head doctor.

If it wasn't for the smart story and the acting talent of Costner this movie would not have been even heard of five years after it was released. Yet even today in the year 2006 people on the golf course still turn to me and say, "I'm pulling a Tin Cup" as they strive to make that impossible shot.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Something More Than Just a Gangster Movie, 20 November 2005
9/10

This Warner Bros. gangster classic features James Cagney as Rock Sullivan and Pat O'Brien as Father Jerry. They play two small time hoodlums who are the best of friends. Eventually one day they decide to steal from a boxcar and are spotted by the police. The child character of Pat O'Brian gets away while James's child character, Rocky, is caught and put into reform school. As the years go by Rocky continues to go down the path of a gangster while his friend takes the other road and becomes the priest of the church in their neighborhood.

Not only is this story extremely original, but the lovable gangster James Cagney makes this movie work. When I sat down to watch it I believed it was yet another gangster picture of a man who works his way to the top and is then losses it all overnight. I was pleasantly surprised when I found that it was more about bravery. This movie goes where most gangster films don't and uncovers the sentimental side of a gangster and what he'll do to help the ones he cares for.

I recommend this film to the not only the lovers of 1940 gangster pictures but to people who are interested in something more than just being entertained. People want to learn about what it means to be truly good and what it means to sacrifice for the right thing. This is probably Cagney's best role next to White Heat because he does something he never did before, HE CRIES!

Respiro (2002)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A little film filled with lots of enjoyment, 29 June 2005
8/10

A unique and visually stunning island is the backdrop for this unique and visually stunning film, Respiro. As I watched this film, I had no former knowledge of the director or actors affiliated with it. This is odd for me, because I usually know a good deal about a movie before I see it. Even though I had this lack of intelligence I still was able to easily sympathize with the characters and their story. It was filled with smart character treats, a very lovable environment, and stellar camera shots featuring the natural beauty of this extraordinary island.

Along with these were the superb acting talents of Grazia (Valeria Golino) She was the heart and soul of this film as she filled the screen with life and energy that was subtle and not overdone. Her children were strong performers and her husband Pietro (Vincenzo Amato) had a great facial disposition that made you genuinely care for him, not many actors have a face like that today, so congratulations on your achievement.

The film isn't a great work, but it as charm that is unmatched this year. It's a very good movie and should definitely be watched and enjoyed.

Rio Bravo (1959)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
The Most Enthralling Western, 15 June 2005
10/10

Yet another Howard Hawks masterpiece is created in this thrilling western. Staring John Wayne as a lonely sheriff who's only company is an old cripple played by Walter Brennan and a former great law man now drunk played by Dean Martin. The trouble begins when John's character named Chance arrests a criminal whose brother is Nathan Brennan the most dangerous gang leader in the west. Nathan then comes to town to see if Chance would consider freeing his brother. Chance refuses sending the law and the bandits into a war against each other.

This is my favorite western movie of all time as it is filled with action, adventure and mountains of excitement. Along with that, my favorite director Howard Hawks directs with unbelievable precision and compassion which was shown through this film unbelievably likable characters. Amazingly Ricky Nelson and Dean Martin pull out fantastic performances, which can be attributed to Hawks' direction.

Beyond that this film includes everything that people love about westerns. Giant gun fights, characters larger than life, a beautiful women, the ultimate standoff of good and evil, and a truly marvelous story.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
New Life in an Old Plot, 22 March 2005
7/10

A funny and original concept is used in this romantic comedy about a boy who as lived is entire life in a fallout shelter (35 years). It's because his father who's a scientist played Christopher Walken thought a nuclear holocaust had begun. When actually a plane crashed into his back yard, which he mistook for a missile.

So his pregnant wife and he go in the shelter and lock the door for thirty five years for the radiation to wear off. Later his son is born in the shelter, and his brought up in a very protective environment with only his parents for his entire life until the doors unlock and he wanders through L.A. finding supplies for his family.

Along his way he meets a girl named Eve played by Alica Silverstone and falls romantically in love.This is very overused kind of plot, where a man wanders through unknown civilization falls in love and has very funny moments learning all the things he's never seen or heard of before. But Brendan Fraser and Alica Silverstone give a kinds of new life. Also Sissy Spacek is fantastic as the wife over run with cabin fever from being trapped in the bomb shelter.

The story line is predicable but entertaining and enjoyable with new ideas spread throughout the movie. By no means a great film but its worth a look.

Hellboy (2004)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Not So Good but........, 18 February 2005
4/10

Yet another big blockbuster action movie based on a comic is the base of Hellboy. It's the story about one of Satan's sons who's unleashed onto earth to reek havoc. Instead of this he's taken in by a friendly scientist who takes is powers and tries to put them toward good and not evil.

Hellboy was again a Hollywood flop with bad acting and one of the dumbest stories thought up by Guillermo del Toro. It's filled with mindless action and conventional story twists. Also a bad job was done by John Hurt as he tried to play the handsome and inexperienced cop who gets caught up in the supernatural mess.

From beginning to end Hellboy was filled with stupid humor and uninteresting directing. The only thing that I enjoyed was the actual character Hellboy played by Ron Perlman. It was somewhat refreshing to have a unconventional type of hero as Hellboy is a cigar smoking, back talking thug, lost in the world.

All in all Hellboy was bad but not horrible as there were a few bright spots but not many. If you enjoy the comic books or are a fan of action and science fiction. This will appeal to you, if you're not stay away.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
The most stunningly beautiful movie of all time, 7 February 2005
10/10

The bicycle thief is the story of a poor Italian who can't get a job. Finally he stumbles upon one that he can have if he had a bicycle. So his wife sells their bed sheets for this bike so he can work. His first day on the job the bike gets stolen and this could mean devastation for his families economy. Not wanting this to happen he sets out with his son Bruno as they search Rome looking for the bike.

This amazing film is masterly directed and is one of the greatest foreign films in history. De Sica directs this film to incredible levels of creativity and intrigue.

The thing that really ties this film together is an incredible story and screenplay. Also a remarkably great performance by Lamberto Maggiorani even pushed this film father along the way to greatness. Along with him the greatest child performance in movies was done by Enzo Staiola playing Bruno.

There is nothing I can say that can lower this films phenomenal standings. The film is almost like a lovely painting, and finishes with a shot that sends chills up your spine.

22 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
The Great Romantic Comedy, 1 January 2005
10/10

Definitely the greatest romantic comedy of all time The Philadelpha Story raises the bar in Hollywood movies. The film is set around the wedding of one of Philadelpha's highest society women (Katherine Hepburn). Her ex-husband who is expertly played by Cary Grant hears of this and decides to crash the party. He does this by bringing along two reporters (James Stewart & Ruth Hussey). They come undercover to get some behind the scene snapshots of the wedding. Of course the results of all this is hilarious.

Stewart and Hussey give ground breaking performances as the reporters. Besides this winning best picture Jimmy Stewart won a well deserved Oscar for best actor in his role. Of course a great comedy would not be complete without the beautiful, charming, hilarious, Katherine Hepburn who never fails to impress. Gave yet another fantastic and unforgettable performance.

Films like this aren't made nearly as well or even made anymore. All the more reason to treasure these wonderful works of art and history. Gerg Cukor does a fine and memorable job in directing but it's the acting and one of films finest screenplays that blows this film way ahead of most romantic comedies. It was originally a play by Philip Barry, and turned into one of the greatest screenplays heard on the silver screen. The screenplay was done by the masterful Donald Stewart. As you can see this is film at its very best and is probably never going to be forgotten.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
It just fell short, 1 January 2005
5/10

A situational comedy, drama that revolves around the death of a man named Alex. His death is the cause for a reunion of old college friends. Allof them with their own separate problems.

The one bright light in this film is the hilarious acting by Jeff Goldbloom, and decent lines delivered by Kevin Kline. Overall the screenplay of this film lets it down. Filled with bad ideas and character discussions, the film quickly becomes unenjoyable. Also with way to many cast members to keep track of during the movie you quickly lose interest.

I was disappointed because they had a great situation a setting to make a phenomenal comedy but sold out to monotonous melodrama and uninteresting themes. All in all this flick fell short of being good. And yet a again another eighties film fails. Glenn Close's character made no sense or just a little to much sense to be any good. Also horrible use of drugs to try to interest you in the characters. Only if it was a comedy!


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