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Boardwalk Empire (2010)
I really like this series, but am confused about the music under the opening credits. Since the series is set in the 20s why do we have very modern rock music playing. The music used at the end of each episode is always a wonderful period piece, which usually has some connection to what has taken place. Excellent choices, all. Also, the gratuitous nudity, and it is, really annoys me. I like it t and a as well as anybody, but c'mon folks, have it fit into the story line or at least have some value other than what it is being used as. Those two elements keep me from fully enjoying the show, and from 'not being able to wait' for the next episode. This whole subject matter is fascinating, and for the most part, handled in a well made way. Good writing, good performances, and photography.
Lost in Space (1965)
I don't recall seeing this show when it was originally on TV, but I watch reruns each Saturday night and am amazed at just how awful it is. One fan said the first season was good, but I guess I haven't seen any of those episodes, just the final two seasons which are borderline inept. The acting is stiff and self conscious, at best. The writing, if you can call it that, is just terrible. Things make no sense, characters do stupid things and let's not even talk about the 'special effects.'
I am also confused about who the target audience was. I guess it had to be kids, say 10-12 year olds, but I think the show was on in prime time which makes no sense to me. The adult characters behave really stupidly all the time, and Dr Smith, or whatever his name is, is straight out of a bad cartoon with his overly dramatic 'acting.' He is so campy that it's surprising kids weren't warped by watching him.
Sorry, fans, if there are any, but this show stinks. Irwin Allen, you are a hack. At least for these 3 years you were.
Lonesome Dove (1989)
Love this movie/mini series
This is a wonderful snapshot of the old West. I have no idea if it's true to life, but it seems as if it is, and that's all that matters. Wonderful writing, and the actors jump on it to flesh out terrific characters. The crusty Robert Duvall, the steely self denying Tommy Lee, the empathetic Danny Glover, Cocky Robert Urich, gawky Robbie Benson, and then Anjelica Houston, Diane Ladd, Frederic Forrest as the hateful Blue Duck, and some really wonderful supporting performances and great, aged , weathered faces. It's funny, moving, awe inspiring in it's epic geography, and very moving as well. I have the tape but need to upgrade to DVD, although I just watched it on AMC. Then, sadly, I watched the sequel the next night. I strongly suggest you skip the sequel which has nothing that was part of the original. Some bad writing, curious casting and indifferent performances are all part of this bad attempt to recapture the magic of the original.
Return to Lonesome Dove (1993)
see the original
As a huge fan of he original Lonesome Dove, I was very disappointed with this bland sequel. The casting is way off: Voight does not have the steely resolve of Tommy Lee, sighs way too much to be a man of action, and gets way too excited when faced with danger. The director needed to say, 'Woodrow can handle things, or at least doesn't let others know he can't.' Barbara Hershey instead of Anjelica Houston? Need I say more. This is a woman who was on her own on the prairie for years and learned how to cope. Very well. Hershey spends most of her time looking down or away from what or who, ever, is in front of her. Suggesting the insecurity and neediness that she displayed in Hannah and her Sisters. But this is an entirely different woman. And, they completely lost all the wonderful weathered faces of the original, save for Oliver Reed, and the character, 'Pea.' The writing is mediocre at best, and as one other suggests, smack of soap opera style events. Either watch the original and then try to get thru this, or watch this and don't watch the original, as you will find yourself nodding off during this one.
Death on the Nile (1978)
he's no Suchet
I did enjoy this film, however, Ustinov is no David Suchet who plays the wonderful Poirot on PBS. Where Suchet is meticulous, even foppish, and doesn't like to get dirty, Ustinov is judgmental, doesn't cut a fashionable figure, and just not at quirky. That's not to say he's bad, he isn't, but for a really wonderful characterization, watch Suchet. Also, Ustinov seems to have a sign on him which says something like, 'I don't like people very much', where Suchet enjoys everyone for what ever they have to offer. As I said, not judgmental, that never enters into it with him, he simply takes you for what you are and is analyzing the entire time. The film is also pretty slow at times, it WAS made in 1978 after all. Things were slower then. I am not a freak about pace, but felt the film could have benefited by a little cutting and an occasional 'pick up the pace' from director Guillerman. The scene inside the pyramids before the attempted murder a case in point. I know, I know, you want us to see that everyone is there and they could all have made the attempt, but c'mon, move it along.
However, overall the film is still very enjoyable, and of course, beautiful It looks great, scenery, settings, and costumes. These folks know how to live.
I loved it
This is a terrific film and you should rent it at once. The director does a great job of not taking sides and telling us what we should feel for any of the characters or the situations. He simply presents them, characters and situations, to us and let's us draw our own conclusions. The director also made Monster's Ball, not a movie of which I am as fond. I loved Mo Nique's performance, the scene in the social workers office may well win her an Oscar, and the young woman is also just great. Mr. Daniels, the director, creates a great deal of empathy for Precious thru the fantasy scenes, which are very clever, even funny, and we are completely in her corner.Lenny Kravitz also does a great job in a role which opens some characters eyes as to a 'male nurse' and a successful (and very handsome and appealing) person. Also, the young woman who plays the teacher in the alternative school is quite excellent, so supportive, challenging, and non judgemental (also very beautiful). And all the young people turn in terrific performances. Hats off to all of you.
Yes, the story is not new, who cares, but it is handled so well, I just became totally involved. Another great thing is the ending, the director and writer don't take the easy way out and give us a 'happy ending', but one which seems totally believable given everyone's motivations. And it is hopeful, Precious seems to have found herself and is willing to take a chance on life and herself and her abilities.
What I thought might be a difficult film to watch, with emotional subject matter, and no clear solution to the problems, was fascinating and totally enjoyable.
Just sit back and take it as it comes and enjoy.
enough Oliver Stone to last a lifetime
I just read some poor, misguided review of Nixon and wonder if we both saw the same film. Although I just had the benefit of seeing Frost/Nixon, a film about the same subject that is so much better that it's scary.
After watching Stone's pro football movie, the name of which I have blocked out, I understand how conservatives (and really anyone who enjoys a good film) must feel. He, Stone, is the very picture of the bleeding heart liberal (and this from a guy who has done his share of bleeding) as he paints with huge, broad brush strokes and Nixon is no different. What was he trying to say about Nixon? All that psychedelic crap, the wild colors et al? Was Nixon on acid? And then he got a wonderful actor, Anthony Hopkins, to give an over the top, Classic Comic Books performance with no nuance what so ever. Only Joan Allen, a longtime fav of mine, saved face with a wonderful, long suffering portrayal of Pat.
All of Stone's films are over the top, it's his way for sure. But, this one really ranks (pun intended) right up their with his worst efforts.
Do yourselves a favor, and if you are feeling like a Nixon fix, forget this turkey and rent Frost/Nixon, a really wonderful character study of two men, and a huge (Paris Hilton alert) moment in American history.
not up to the usual
I was really disappointed in the film, it didn't have much of a story line, and the characters weren't as filled out as usual. I can't tell if it was the writing, or the voice performances, but I really didn't much care for it.
There wasn't the strong motivation of Nemo, for instance, where they HAD to find Nemo. Remy simply wanted to be a great cook, but there was no real driving force behind this want. The relationship between him and what's his name, the young chef (see I can't even remember his name) was so ho hum, not vital enough to drive the picture. And there were way too many animated humans, unlike Nemo and Pixar's previous efforts. I am probably in the minority, but animated human characters just don't get it for me. Animated animals, cars, chairs, fine, humans, no.
Actor wise, I think Peter O'Toole was the most successful in his characterization, and the film could have used some more voice talent of his level. The voice of Remy didn't capture any excitement, energy, nothing vital or arresting. Like wise Brad Garret as the Ghost Chef. I loved him on Raymond, but he didn't really find a character here, however he wasn't alone.
Maybe my expectations were too high, but Pixar has never let me down and I expected this to be right up there with their others.
A fun film, sit back and enjoy it.
A real fun movie, no more and certainly no less. I have to comment on the person who said 'Clooney is not a comedian'. No, he is a comic actor, and he is excellent at it. O Brother Where Art Thou, the divorce movie, also by the Coen's. Excellent. It was his early dramatic efforts that were not very successful for him. And calling Any Given Sunday the greatest sports movie ever shows how ignorant this person is. A movie filled with clichés, which every character spouts all the time. After watching it I felt like I imagine Republicans must feel when viewing Oliver Stone's other films, like Nixon or JFK. I simply wanted to beat the crap out of Stone, who is as sloppy and paranoid in his logic in Sunday as he is in Nixon, not to mention JFK. What was Cameron Diaz doing in Sunday? Was she supposed to be the one time rams owner? And why didn't Stone stop her from doing it, and suggest something that would be right and keep her from looking like a total fool? Something she is awfully good at in all her films. Enjoy Leatherheads for what it is.
Here's to better films, and better reviews from the public. Wake up and smell the coffee.
Inventing the Abbotts (1997)
It's okay, I guess, but to what end?
I read the other user reviews, and boy are you people easily pleased. Why make this movie? We have all been there in one way or another. Teenage angst, young adult angst. Ho-hum. No three dimensional characters, no action, almost no plot, and no life going on around the characters on screen. The acting is fine, but they don't really have much to work with. And it is SO SLOW. Good God, Mr. Director, what did you think was so fascinating about this film that you would take so bloody long with every scene and every shot?
I don't have a short attention span, but when scenes drag on with 'meaningful pauses' that don't mean anything, then you teach me that I don't have to pay attention since nothing happens.
Another 'ice maiden' performance from Jennifer Connelly, a one level performance from Billy Crudup, and Kathy Bates is the most rounded character, and gives the best performance. However, she is a very minor character in the big picture, and only made me aware of how shallow all the other roles were.
It looks great, right on period wise, I think. Although the score, while very catchy, seems out of place. I don't remember all that wonderful boogie music at the start of the film as 1957.
It's not awful, it's just sort of nothing and a bit of a waste of time. All these actors have done far better work in the last 10 years.