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Trust the Man (2005)
Pretentious crap
17 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Barely a genuine moment in the movie. He started out setting the stage for a thoughtful drama/comedy and then littered it with completely fake characters and situations. The zen musician/friend/minister? The lesbian book publisher who gets water spit in her face and sticks around for a friendly chat? The European boyfriend with the fake European accent and stereotypical lisp? Getting chased by a security guard around Lincoln Center? Showing up in a cab in the middle of your brother's/best friend's wedding, and not having anyone notice? Ludicrous, disingenuous, pretentious nonsense. So many story lines started but not completed. The car that he has an emotional attachment to. The children's book the girl wants to publish. The ex-girlfriend who he bumps into a couple of times, who makes a pass at him, and then you never see again. The sex addicts support group? Julianne Moore's acting colleague who, at the end, we're apparently led to believe perhaps she was having an affair with, but that was never developed or explained. Maggie Gyllenhall suddenly, inexplicably pining for a baby? It was just one obnoxious scene after another. A waste of good actors.
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One for the ages
24 February 2005
As great as the original Star Wars may be, The Empire Strikes Back remains the best film in the series. As the years pass, the real achievement of Empire only grows. While the original film has grown somewhat dated in appearance, and Return of the Jedi feels a bit silly now, Empire has maintained remarkable staying power. The effects in the film feel as fresh now as they did in 1980, and as importantly the story and tone of the film still hold an ominous feel and lend the series the grandeur that made it so lasting. Without Empire, Star Wars would have been remembered but not nearly in the same way. Everything that was begun in Star Wars was expanded and improved upon here, right down to the score Remember, this was the movie that introduced the now-famous and ridiculously overplayed Imperial March composed by John Williams. And virtually every scene is now iconic--the Imperial Walkers in the snow, Luke's training in the swamp, the asteroid field chase of the Millennium Falcon, the Cloud City, Luke's lightsaber battle with Vader. When I think of "Star Wars", most of the images that come to mind first are from Empire. The colors and textures of the film are so sharp and rich.

A truly majestic film. One of the great visual statements in the history of movies, and one of the most successful realizations of a movie vision we will ever see.
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