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6 reviews in total 
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Babel (2006/I)
52 out of 101 people found the following review useful:
Babel Schmabble, 29 March 2007

No redeeming value whatsoever. If I had been in a theater I would have walked out, but since I was comfy on my couch at home, I hung in there till the end. There is nothing here to hold on to, nothing to take away. Flawed characters can be illuminating, but these characters make mistakes that are simply stupid and annoying. No insights to be had. No revelations to be found. No laughs, no "aha!" moments anywhere. Some works of art illustrate the futility of life, man's inhumanity to man, and offer insight into our own struggles --but unfortunately not Babel. A shallow movie, when it knows it is shallow, can be amusing at times. But the worst thing is, Babel thinks it is saying something. It is trying to con us into believing that something profound is being said: something about our inability to communicate, something about cultures, something about families. But it is saying exactly nothing! Vapid stories woven together, however artfully, are still vapid stories. Save your $$$.

30 out of 41 people found the following review useful:
What the bleep were they thinking?, 4 June 2005

I wish I could remember who recommended this movie to me, so I could find them and throttle them soundly. This kind of idiocy can give quantum mechanics a bad name. The "experts" were like Woody Allen rejects, lacking any wit or irony. Spare me. The whole thing was a blathering mess. It was like some one just discovered some rudimentary and superficial aspects of the uncertainty principle and then dashed out to tell the world by making a horrible movie. Who funds projects like this? What's Marlee Matlin doing???? Help!!!! If this DVD is being given away for free at a yard sale, don't even pick it up, unless you are going to use it in a craft project, or hang it in your garden to keep crows away. Bad movies happen. What can you do? But long winded full of themselves absolutely pretentious movies like this need to need to be stomped on, scratched or melted down for creative re-use.

Madagascar (2005)
2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
It takes a big team to create such mediocrity, 2 June 2005

As I watched the credits roll on endlessly, my only thought was, "Well at least this project kept a whole lot of people employed." I laughed a few times, but got bored since the shallow characters didn't interest me and the story was lame. I love Chris Rock and Ali G, but I resented the wisecracks aimed at the adults and found little of value for children. I certainly would not bring my grandchildren to this. The ironic use of themes from "Born Free" and "Chariots of Fire" only underscored how trivial this movie is compared to the stories being parodied in the music. And what are we left with? Friends stick together? There's no place like home, even if it's a sterile cage? Growling loud and batting smaller creatures defenseless brings "peace" to a society? Let's suppress our true natures so we can fit in with our peers? No thanks!

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Weirdly Wonderful, 23 May 2005

It's bleak. It's awkward. It drags. And it also haunts, for a long time after. Short black and white scenes seemingly filmed with all the finesse of security camera tapes, each fading to black without any sense of dramatic resolution. It's precisely the lack of resolution that keeps you going -- creating a weird kind of suspense. For me, a key to the story is that the John Lurie character, Willie, has never mentioned his Hungarian heritage to his best buddy, Eddy. He has chosen to cut himself off from his origins, but his "assimilation" into U.S. culture has led exactly to nowhere. When his teenage cousin comes to visit, fresh from Budapest, Willie's isolation becomes all the more evident. The silences between the two speak volumes. Aunt Lotte, the most appealing character, represents the vitality missing in Willie. I found the film oddly touching and I involuntarily cared about the characters, partly because the film maker wasn't trying to make me like them. The ending was ironic and perfect. Give this one a chance, and at the very least, your own life will seem very full and very colorful by contrast!

42 out of 84 people found the following review useful:
Noire Fairy Tale: Surprised by Delight, 18 March 2005

This movie was a total surprise to me. I'm sure it's very famous, but somehow had never seen it before. From the beginning scenes, I was expecting a gritty low life, wind up in the gutter, down and out kind of crime movie and that was fine with me, especially if set in New Orleans. At the same time there was a surprising freshness about it, that caught my attention, like a wake up call. Literally, there was writing on the wall that signaled "this is not that kind of movie!" The opening scenes reminded me of the opening of Sopranos -- the rolling shot of a neighborhood with an ominous sounding song in the background. (Were the Sopranos producers inspired by this film?) But once Roberto Benigni appeared on the scene, announcing that "Life is Sad and Beautiful" the whole story began to feel more like a strange fairy tale. Throughout the film, I appreciated the way the director took his time, letting the story evolve slowly, giving the characters time to develop their tenuous bonds. I could watch this again and again, knowing I would keep discovering hidden meanings, references, and ironies. Loved it!!!!

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
This movie just keeps getting better and better!, 18 March 2005

This movie has everything going for it: Fully developed characters, a realistic portrayal of working Washington, bathed in warmth and humor that is uniquely Albert Brooks. The dumbing down of network news is even more of an issue now than it was in 1987. Remember, this was pre-cable! So satisfying to care about complex people attempting to achieve complex goals -- and it all moves along with lightning speed. Such a true to life depiction of friendships that teeter toward romance. See if you can spot John Cusack as the angry messenger! And do you recognize Peter Hackes from real life Broadcast News? Finally, if you're from DC, see if you agree with Holly Hunter's directions to cab drivers!