Reviews written by registered user
ianmhart

5 reviews in total 
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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A good episode of a good season, 4 December 2006
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sylvester Stallone shows his comedic chops throughout this episode. Two of the skits particularly stand out in my mind. One where he's on a local cable access show trying to score dates for his daughters (one of whom is knocked-up and another who is mentally challenged, with unibrow and accordion -- hysterically played by Cheri Oteri). Another great skit finds Stallone working at an electronics store but unable to deal with the fact that it is no longer an Orange Julius. Odd, sure, but Stallone is great in it.

It's a shame that Stallone's choice of comedic feature films is so poor, considering how great he was on this episode of SNL.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Overlooked, if underlong, gem of a film, 31 July 2006
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had four main impressions of this film on leaving the theater:

1) Jeff Daniels deserves an Oscar nomination, if not the trophy, for his performance as the manipulative and depressed divorcée. 2) The Director is well grounded in the Wes Anderson school of film-making. The New York in this film, while a little older, feels similar to that of The Royal Tenenmbaums. His characters, however, are more real than Anderson's. 3) This movie made me grateful that my parents stayed together, despite tough times. 4) The film ended too soon.

This last point was a sticky one for me. Not that all tensions need to be resolved, but there were still a few open plot points at the end. You'd have thought that after leaving the 12 year old home for the weekend, by accident, and having him give himself alcohol poisoning, that they would have made some reference to it later.

Great performances from everyone involved. Shout-out to Billy Baldwin for getting cast in this top-notch film.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Ratner blows it, 1 June 2006
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Make no mistake, Brett Ratner does for the X-Men series what Joel Schumacher did for Batman. His direction adds nothing and subtracts much. Hopefully this sequel won't kill the franchise the way Schumacher did, but anyone at Fox that signs him to another movie needs to be sacked.

Ratner directed a mediocre superhero film. Some cool effects and battles, no doubt. Lots of villains, most of whom are dispatched by Wolverine before uttering a word. But in some, the film is flat and soulless.

The biggest things I missed from this film were any sense of developing the characters. This was most apparent in the new characters, including Beast and Juggernaut, but especially Angel, who gets top billing in the ads and promotional materials, and all of 3 lines of dialog. If you've seen the commercial, you've seen a good chunk of his on-screen time. In his first scene (10 years earlier) he is ashamed of his powers, and so is his father. Without explanation, he is proud of his wings in the next scene, defies his father, and hops out the window.

Established character development also failed to make the cut. Given that the movie clocked in at about 90 minutes, Ratner had time to develop characters and conflicts more, but apparently chose not to. The Iceman/Kitty/Rogue love triangle had as much drama (and just about as much screen time) as an acne cream ad. Rogue, basically the heart of the first film, gets barely more than a series of cameos here.

Lingering questions: Why does Kitty miss the snow? She still lives in Westchester County, New York, which is in the snow belt. Why does the San Francisco Bay turn from day to night the second Magneto lands on Alcatraz? How did Angel fly across the country, just minutes after the X-Men's jet? Some might call me a fanboy, but I just like good movies. The first two took plenty of liberties with the characters and turned out great. This one was on-par with Daredevil (minus that film's art-direction).

Domino (2005)
2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Ian Ziering and Brian Austin Green as themselves. Nuff said., 6 January 2006
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was unquestionably the worst movie I have seen in the theater in the past four years. While I have never walked out of a film, I have also never spent so much time in a theater looking at my watch -- I could not wait to leave.

The acting is fine -- I'm not going to blame the actors for this one, not even Keira Knightly, who showed so much promise in "Bend It Like Beckham" and so little promise since. The script, however ... woeful. The dialog was ridiculous, the plotting was worse -- the whole "Blacktina" business on Jerry Springer was somewhat humorous, but what on earth did it have to do with the movie I'd paid to see?... also, casting Ian Ziering and Brian Austin Green in the film, much less playing themselves, begs me to ask 'why?'

The lousy script and plotting may have done something in more able hands (such as David Fincher). Tony Scott seemed to be trying for Fight Club. He ended up with a big-budget Red Sonja.

Twist (2003)
5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
R.I.P. Male Hustler Films, 25 June 2004
3/10

I saw this as part of the '04 San Francisco GLBT film fest. The description seemed interesting enough, and Nick Stahl has made a couple good movie choices, so I figured it was a safe bet. Wrong-o. Can we please put an end to the male hustler genre? This Dickinsian train wreck could have been just as easily made by piecing together scenes from the fair "Johns," the violent for violence-sake "Bully," and the utterly stupid "Speedway Junkies."

The movie had a couple nice shots, but any art of the film was wasted by the story. I also really liked the soundtrack. Those two highlights do not justify the 98 minutes of my attention that I gave to this film. I couldn't get out of the theater quick enough, and considered walking out more than once.

Anyone who feels the slightest tug toward this movie should just rewatch "My Own Private Idaho" (if you want a hustler movie) or "In the Bedroom" (if you want a Nick Stahl movie) and buy an Alison Kraus album (for the alt-country/bluegrass soundtrack).