Reviews written by registered user
|30 reviews in total|
What could have been an enthralling biopic of the rough career and personal life of troubled porn star turned woman's activist Linda "Lovelace" Boreman, is instead a disappointing melodramatic mess. I could just take the easiest criticism and say that P.T. Anderson's "Boogie Nights" told this story the best and sets the bar for any other variation of it after it, but the story of Linda Lovelace is much more complex and tragic than that of John Holmes. She came from mutilation, embarrassment and abuse. Lovelace never intended on getting into a career of selling skin, and this film, to a certain degree, shows her innocence. But when it comes to documenting the toll that "Deep Throat" took on her life, the movie simply cops out. Amanda Seyfried is a lovely woman and a very talented actress, and I think she gave her best effort in playing Lovelace. Its everything else that doesn't work. Peter Sarsgaard's performance of Chuck Traynor is extremely weak. In real life, Chuck was man described as a monster who would constantly threaten Linda's life if she refused his orders. You would think that in order to match the reality, you would hire an actor that can capture rage in order to make the audience detest or fear him (ex, Leonardo DiCaprio). Such is not the case here. Chuck is portrayed as a soft-spoken dummy, conveying absolutely no genuine emotion in any of his actions. Considering Chuck played a huge part in the film's narrative, that really hurts the picture. The turbulent making of "Deep Throat" and its phenomenal success is also widely ignored and weakly executed. It feels like the film was simply rushed in and out of production and just slapped together for the final product. Nothing really feels genuine in any section of the film whatsoever. Bottom line, I have to unfortunately tell you to skip this film.
Punch-Drunk Love is an effectively emotional film that brings an urgency to the meaning of romance in our lives. This is not your typical Adam Sandler movie. Oh no, this is a masterpiece. Here, he abandons his grating buffoon charade that bludgeons his career and instead plays a profound and tortured man who suffers all the hallmarks of Aspergers. He spends his days hiding from the world in a lonely garage, and dealing with the constant bullying of his psychotic sisters. When one of them hooks him up with a shy British woman, he falls madly in love, but only after he convinces her just how much of a beautiful man he really is. This story is so touching, it brings a tear to my eye. Theirs is a love so unique, so taboo, so justifiably beautiful. P.T. Anderson really pins down controversial subjects, but even a narrative as simple as a love story can he really bring his all to. It's a truly magnificent picture.
Make no mistake about it, this is NOT your typical AIDS movie. Those of you who are all caught up with that hype should just stop reading and go somewhere else. Dallas Buyers Club is a deeply upsetting but masterfully crafted piece of genius filmmaking. I have never felt so sorry for any movie character quite like Ron Woodroof. He's a flawed cowboy who's made a few too many mistakes that ends up putting his health in fatal jeopardy. The odds are not in his favor, but he has time to kill, and he makes up for it by selling an illegal drug that prolongs the lifespan of the average AIDS patient. Enter, the Dallas Buyers Club. His partner is crime is a transsexual named Rayon played by Jared Leto, who flirts his life away, but all in hopes of becoming a beautiful woman. The fact is, McConaughey and Leto give the performances of their lifetime. While I don't think this was the movie that deserved their Oscar, I can proudly say that it is the best performances they've done to date and that is deserving enough of the award. The story is also very engaging, fueled with Jean-Marc Valee's unprecedented direction. He's practically the next Darren Aronofsky. This is an urgent, meaningful movie and It deserves your time in watching it.
Taxi Driver is a uniquely nihilistic film that after all these years remains an American classic. But does it really stand the test of time? Yes and no. Yes, because of it's influence in modern film storytelling and structure, obviously inspiring the likes of Tarantino with its brutally honest subject matter (psychotic killers, violence, sex trafficking, racism, etc). But in the wake of Sandy Hook, our society has drastically changed its views on how much of this lone-wolf violence/psycho-babble we can stomach before someone makes a fuss about it. The point is, Taxi Driver is the inner memoirs of a clearly dangerous man. Travis Bickle wants to clear the scum off the streets of 1970's NYC, and he wants to do it with a few loaded guns. I can't help but feel my stomach turn and I assume all of you out there would feel the same. Travis as a character thinks on a level that none of us would in this day and age and those who do are probably just as lonely as he is. I can't deny though that it isn't fascinating to see life through his eyes. He's a maniac, but a self-righteous one at that, thinking that he is merely doing the work of God by saving a 12-year-old prostitute from the hands of her slimy pimp. In a way, Travis has a soul underneath all the ugliness, and that is what makes Taxi Driver so incredible. We are given no choice but to sympathize with a demon.. however this demon didn't get to me, but it did get to the majority of America in 1976. This is the film that cemented Scorsese as a master and rightfully so. Its a tough film to sit through, but what you get out of it is rewarding.
There is probably no other movie you could find that better captures
decadence in the world of the extremely wealthy quite like "The Wolf of
Wall Street". A film that might not stand among the ranks of
"Goodfellas", "Taxi Driver", "The Departed" or even "Gangs of New York"
as one of Martin Scorsese's best films, but stands among the very best
of 2013. Its a mess, but what an exhilarating mess it is.
A 3-hour epic of gluttonous drug-use and explicit sex as documented by a truly repulsive human being. The fact is, this is how the workplace functioned back in the early 90's. The fact is, Jordan Belfort consumed more Quaaludes to make Hunter S. Thompson blush and engaged in enough ravenous sexual escapades to make Caligula faint. It seems almost unbelievable to assume that these events actually occurred, but to some degree, they did. If that is the case, then Scorsese truly crafted a masterful biopic.
DiCaprio embodies Jordan Belfort perfectly. He soars far beyond any performance in film this year. Jonah Hill is also mesmerizing as Jordan's partner in crime, Donnie Azoff, who is a certified pig. Matthew McConaughey especially steals the show as Mark Hanna, a meticulous master of the stocks, with a strange habit of beating his chest to something similar to an Indian tribal chant. The female love interest Naomi, played by Margot Robbie, plays it sexy and cunning as a really charming tramp who mothers Belfort's child.
The rest plays out as you would expect. Its a long, dizzying journey of T and A with copious amounts of cocaine sprinkled on top. But its a journey that is worth taking. Bravo to Scorsese, DiCaprio and everyone involved in the creation of this masterpiece.
I will be fair and say that Casa de mi Padre was an inspired idea. Will Ferrel truly took on a daring responsibility to widely release a Spanish speaking movie under his company banner as well as speaking Spanish throughout the film. The result is a mixed bag. I really admired its homage of the Sergio Leone spaghetti western meets Telenovela meets Grindhouse flick. It took advantage of this by using some really clever sight gags. Some of the action scenes were pretty kick-ass. Also, since this is a Spanish speaking movie, the subtitles leave room for some hilarious reading! But the film's efforts can at times feel tiresome. The first half of the movie is almost joke less. Almost as if the film was trying to rely on the fact that Will Ferrel speaking Spanish will be funny enough to carry a movie. Which it doesn't. The scenes without jokes fall totally flat and provides nothing to the audiences interest. To this effect, I turned off the movie half way through watching it the first time, convinced that I had watched a truly awful comedy. But I gave it a second chance, and to my surprise, I liked it. But lets face the facts, this is a forgettable Will Ferrel flick that will go among the ranks of "Semi-Pro" and "Kicking and Screaming" as one of his worst films. Rent it if you want to.
Dark Shadows tries with all its might to be as quirky, spooky and ironic as possible. But I couldn't agree more with what most of the critics have said, and I quote, "All dressed up, and nowhere to go". To be honest, I thought that this was going to be one of Burton's most original outings since the mid-nineties. I was looking forward to the juxtaposition of groovy nostalgia and Universal classic horror movie monsters that this film promised. But once I pressed play, those hopes were quickly dashed. Its another pretentious Burton schlock-fest with over the top weirdness, over bearing set pieces, uninteresting dialog and of course, Johnny Depp stinking up the joint. I should have known that Dark Shadows was such an appealing franchise for Burton to get his greasy hands on. Nothing in this film is genuinely compelling or funny. However, the homages to the 70's (as little in quantity as they were), were at least semi- amusing. Tim needs to learn at some point or another that his 20 year Depp collabo is wearing extremely thin. Perhaps the film's box-office returns gave some sort of a clue.
Identity Thief plays like a low rent version of Due Date, with such devastating little effort in the laugh department. How did this movie go so wrong? Jason Bateman's stick-in-the-mud charm can make just about any movie good, even the badly scripted ones. Here, he just comes across as a schmuck, and not a likable one either. With a character that gets his identity stolen, you would think that we would feel more empathy towards him getting it back, but me and the rest of the audience could agree to care less. Melissa McCarthy also manages to phone-in her performance. Who was once the rapid fire ad-lib queen of comedy, Melissa is seen here shackled to this lazy script and is reduced to pratfalls and white trash yammering. Then all of a sudden, after the film convinces to us that she is a conniving, Jar-Jar aping pain in Bateman's side, we are supposed to care about her. Melissa's character (also named Sandy) begins to reflect on her broken childhood, which includes missing an identity of her own. Then, the movie gets sentimental, and I mean REALLY REALLY sentimental. As if this hackneyed script was turned over to an ABC Family writer and just decided to change the pace all together. Alright, I'm being too harsh. Some of the movie's sweet side, while pungent, works in Melissa's advantage because we are rewarded with a softer, friendlier performance from her that was actually quite moving. But it just doesn't work, not in this movie, not in any R-Rated comedy for that matter. Also, the subplot featuring the criminals and the psychotic bounty hunter did nothing for the narrative, and I wasn't laughing either. What saves this movie from being a complete disaster is a few jokes I genuinely laughed at. Sometimes, the movie showed us a glimmer of Melissa's genius hilarity and Bateman's deadpan charm. But it wasn't long until banality sunk back in. Whose to blame? I would say the screenwriter, Craig Mazin. The guy who brought us such classics as The Hangover Part II. Seriously Craig, just stick to working with David Zucker. To be honest, I didn't even think I was getting myself into something that good in the first place. I remember cringing the first time I caught the trailer to this, But I hoped in vein that it would be better than advertising suggested. But no, it was just as I suspected. In short, this film was a major letdown.
While shopping at my local Best Buy, I saw a copy of Hit and Run
sitting on the shelf and I just decided to give it a try. I had nothing
to lose and nothing to really fear. I figured it would be a light
comedy with a lot of action to hold my attention for a good 90 minutes.
I came home, pressed play, and watched it.
I don't really know how I feel about it.
Its not a bad movie, per se. I certainly didn't have a bad time. I was just puzzled at what I had just watched. Its a gooey rom-com with a few intense car chase sequences, peppered with raunchy dialog. Just... so weird! I'll give credit to Dax Shepard for making a totally original slant on an otherwise overdone plot line.
But then, once you get past the plot, it gets weirder. The acting, for the most part, is decent. But sometimes, it gets downright terrible. Take for instance, Tom Arnold. He literally shouts his entire dialog and spends most of the movie running wildly around screen with a gun in his hand. Why? I have no idea. Were they going for absurdist humor with that character? or was Tom Arnold just coked up? Whatever the reason, I grew to hate his character... a lot.
Then, literally, for no reason whatsoever, we get two scenes involving the main characters stumbling into an elderly orgy. What on god's green earth was that all about? Its as if the movie was spliced together with outtakes from a Sacha Baron Cohen movie, and they figured it would be so shocking, that it just had to be in the movie for a good laugh. It just sat there, dead on screen, in its wrinkly birthday suit. I didn't laugh.
Alright, enough with the questions. Lets get down to business. I thought the movie potentially worked and I did laugh more times than I ever thought I would. There is some really funny stuff in here, and its worth checking out to catch them all. I liked Dax Shepard, considering that he was channeling an Owen Wilson type performance. Kristen Bell is always a pleasure to watch watch on screen. We also get a delightfully bizarre performance from Bradley Cooper that entertained me a whole lot. Especially the scene at the supermarket... what an absolutely fantastic scene that was.
All in all, Hit and Run is hit and miss, and definitely surreal at times. But not a bad outing at the movies.
The Hangover Part III is one of those movies that I forgot about merely
seconds after the end credits started to roll. I thought what I had
just seen was a mirage of some sort. A comedy so unbelievably weak that
it cannot simply serve as the end to one of the wildest saga of comedy
movies ever made. But alas, there is just no way around how bad this
final Hangover really is.
When the first film debuted in 2009, it opened to mixed critical reviews but to a strong word of mouth consensus amongst its audience and became one of the biggest unexpected hits of the year. It launched the careers of Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifinakis from comedic players to top billing superstars. It was an even bigger hit on DVD, and a sequel was already in the works. The future really did look bright for comedy, and for Todd Phillips as his directorial career had now found itself in a massive resurgence.
Then, when the sequel debuted in 2011, audiences from across the country piled into movie theaters in hopes of another summer laugh riot. These hopes were quickly dashed when it was realized that the Hangover Part II was a carbon copy of the original. It was one of the biggest disappointments in comedy since Ghostbusters 2, but it did supply us with a few memorable quotes and inspired insanity if nothing else.
Now, we have The Hangover Part III. The question remains, why does it even exist? Who was asking for it? I couldn't name anyone who wanted anything to do with the Hangover after its disastrous second part. But, there it was, Hangover III. Whether you like it or not, your getting it. Whats more is that it isn't even remotely similar to the two movies prior to it. In fact, there's no hangover to be found at any point in this film (minus the end credits). Quite contradictory to the title, or even the WHOLE PURPOSE of the franchise!
Yeah, I guess Todd Phillips and co. were so terrified with what they received with the second movie, that they insisted on abandoning everything that constituted a Hangover movie and instead leave the memorable characters to revel in black comedy and senseless melodrama. If you can believe it, this movie is even more black than its sequel (and that movie included jokes about cocaine overdoses and the victims of the Vietnam war). Yes, we are forced to focus on the mad inner workings of Alan's mind, and why he is a burden to society and everyone close to him. Alan was once the most lovable inappropriate man-child the world has ever seen. Now, I wanted to strap him down and pluck every last whisker from his beard. We also focus on Leslie Chow's crazy antics again because . well LOOK ITS CHOW AGAIN!!! He's so crazy, right?
Everything else is just flavorless and boring. Even Melissa McCarthy can't save this mess. I'll admit that a few of the jokes made me laugh in a twisted Terry Zwigoff sort of way. But other than a few of the dark jokes . there's nothing really that enjoyable about this Hangover. So we bid thee, farewell. I don't think we'll miss you, Wolfpack.
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