3 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Garden State (2004)
Memorable scenes, Memorable characters, Memorable movie
6 January 2005
I am guilty of often over-analyzing movies. I ruin them for myself and can get a little snobby about the content. Garden State is one of those rare films that allowed me to sit back and enjoy. The solid, interesting, likable characters and meaningful dialogue helped to bring down my defenses. This movie is a love story but it feels real and not goofy or cheesy like typical "Romantic Comedies". There are a variety of different scenes and shots that do not feel stale or repeated. I also have to comment on the wonderful use of music. I bought the soundtrack as soon as it was released. The clerk in the record store said it best "It's not a movie soundtrack it's more like a mix CD made by a good friend." Here is the part where I gush about how much I like Natalie Portman. She is acting but she does it so well and so naturally. You feel like the role was made for her (I think it was according to Braff). Best way to describe it is she plays the type of girl you just want to hug all the time. She can appeal to women and men, young and old. OK I'm finished. My recommendation: In some parts this movie appeals to a younger audience. That is not to say that it can't be enjoyed by anyone of any age. There is one scene of sex but it has nothing to do with Braff or Portman. It is quick and just there to be weird (You'll see what I mean). The theme does have some more serious points and issues but the overall feel of the movie is definitely warm and sweet. If you like classic romance stories and even those usual "Romantic Comedies" then you will like this. If you like clever lines and humorous characters then you will like this. If you just want to lose yourself and enjoy and nice story with no violence, fast cuts and snappy one liners, then you will like this. Final note: See it with a significant other or someone you would like to be your significant other. 10/10
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Sideways (2004)
Strong Acting, Character Development and Dialogue
29 November 2004
I love movies like Sideways for many reasons. One may be that I will never see a commemorative Sideways bottle of wine or the Sideways happy meal at McDonald's. My point is that Sideways is a great movie and nothing more. It doesn't rely on blockbuster star power. It doesn't need flashy special effects or gimmicks. Paul Giammatti performs flawlessly as a flawed and deeply troubled character. I found myself forgetting he was acting. I only saw the character he was playing and became engrossed by his presence. Thomas Haden Church offers a very nice contrast by playing what appears to be a two-dimensional, sophomoric, womanizer. The story is simple and focuses more on character development. It is easy to connect with each of the main characters. They may not be likable but what they are is human. If you can't relate to them personally, they remind you of a family member or close friend. Overall, this film is for those who like movies based in reality, which as you will see can produce some of the most bizarre and comical situations of all. If you like movies with jokes you don't have to think about (Who doesn't from time to time) don't worry, this film has a surprisingly high amount of low brow, immature, vulgar humor, mixed with the dry and subtle. Give it a try. 9/10
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Scream (1996)
typical teen movie at heart where the characters deal with murder instead of getting laid or being the most popular kid in school.
16 October 2004
Many people of my generation label this movie as a classic. I consider it a typical teen movie at heart where the characters deal with murder instead of getting laid or being the most popular kid in school. Neve Campbell delivers a consistent performance and by consistent I mean boring and predictable. Jamie Kennedy hits us over the head with the reminder that we are watching a "horror" movie. Rule #1 of a good movie: Don't take the audience out of the experience. Make them believe it is real.

Overall: No real terror or dread is conveyed. Some OK scenes of the killer chasing people and losing but then winning the upper hand. A few scenes designed to make the viewer jump. OK twist and revelation at the end. It was paced pretty well and it didn't feel long. I give it a 5 and that is being generous. Not as good as everybody says.
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