Reviews written by registered user
panjshir_lion

8 reviews in total 
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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
sometimes being bad can be good, 23 October 2011

Bad Teacher was this overly hyped event promising humor on par with 'The Hangover' and largely was unable to live up to such expectation. However, Diaz plays the part of a money grubbing and social climbing malcontent spot-on and really saves this film. It's her goofiness from 'something about marry' meets the self-centered character types she's played in other roles. The humor is crass at times, almost too much (like bridesmaids) but the level of it in her character is absolutely hysterical. She is consistently a bad teacher and the lessons learned by her actions are interesting - in short, sometimes being bad can be good. Despite the mistakes, it's unmistakable that this movie is hilarious. This movie is not perfect by any means but it delivers some serious comedy at the expense of political correctness and a morally ambiguous messages. If you "get it", you will set that Bad Teacher is an honest look at a bad person, with lessons more subtle and in some ways more real. Some may liken this movie to Bad Santa. I recommend.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Children's film aimed, and hence children's film delivered..., 18 November 2009
5/10

As a "co-owner" of two Chihuahua's, I was dragged to the theater to see this disastrous film. It's not my typical fan fare, one usually consisting of international dramas and intellectual plots. And on all of these measures, this movie utterly fails. But somehow I was OK with this and have come to slightly appreciate the film through the lens of it's audience.

It is a quaint family film which transcends our four legged friends celebrating the love and struggles in life. The movie is a triangulation of ideas - It plays on the differences in people, it's a coming of age story, it plays on loyalty, and has an innocent love dynamic. These themes are portrayed allegorically through some of American's purist companions - dogs. This is a painfully light hearted film about a "stuck up" female dog who ends up on an unexpected journey in Mexico which leads to love and change. It's an tired old theme, and as it delivers laughs very sparingly, but it still manages to deliver family fun and has some redeeming qualities.

This movie at best is seen through the lens of a 5 year old's mindset and aptly was aimed at and delivered to that demographic in spades. We have grown spoiled with "childrens" movies containing complicated subtexts for adults, this one does none of these things, if you want something better, watch WALL-E.

7 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
You got what you paid for - eye candy, 28 June 2009
1/10

OK, the movie isn't a 1/10 but I just 'had to do it' to push down the overall ranking. I'd say the special effects, good acting, canned laughter, and well laid out story line bring it up to at least a 5/10.

Honestly, there isn't really much to say about this film, it's just like all of the other big summer action block busters designed to transform (er dumb down) our brains and let us just sit back and enjoy the eye candy. With the seamless special effects, the smoking hot actress, and non-stop action, this movie delivers in spades.

Though you have to wonder how the industry is producing these types of movies - in other words, they are forced to dumb down and play safe bets. This was a big budget film and hence had to see big profits to turn around the costs - perhaps ironically at our expense.

Both Transformers movies have a quality - they take us back to our childhoods. My problem with this was I felt more like a fool instead of child by prescribing to any of it. Between dealing with the movie-zombie packed parking lot (weekday late night), the Facebookers raving reviews, the audience laughing at the dumbest one-liners, human emotions of the robots (including dry humping), the low IQ 'jive' Negro robots, etc etc. developed a very obnoxious social meme around this film. Call me high flatulent, but this was simply too much for me to take, or accept.

Watchmen (2009)
1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
prepubescent drivel, 20 March 2009
6/10

Knowing almost nothing about the book, the watchmen carried no biases or expectations. However, it was a painful, prepubescent, dark, shallow-pointless - an ultra violent spectacle driven mostly by slow plot development and over the top special effects and cursing.

Certainly there IS a plot here but it moves quite slowly with purpose and symbolism somewhat lost even if you strip back the special effects and gore. Seemingly the plot tried draw on some kind of twisted reality built on simplistic references to American history even going as far as replicating famous faces such as Nixon, Dan Rather, and Kissenger. Instead of adding to the film, it only enhanced a feeling of pointless clutter.

The super hero's looked like lame cheap knockoffs (except for the digital Dr. Manhatten) who went around glorifying violence (and murder) as they performed dark justice on anyone who was in their way. Sadly, even the slow motion Matrix-like fighting sequences (with an emphasis on gore) seemed to be begging for attention.

As the plot dragged on and on, it sadly turned me into the watchman of the digital clock on my cell phone - Eventually I walked out of the theater after about 1 hour of trying to say interested.

In the end, I was left with an empty feeling one might get from an emptying and entire bag of greasy popcorn - and like the movie, something probably only enjoyed without recourse by a teenager. I would recommend that you watch for the DVD.

W. (2008/I)
2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Created a small window..., 18 October 2008
8/10

"W." is an entertaining film which presents a very small but interesting window into the largely secretive Bush White House. We see many of the major actors in key policy decisions - but in a fairly glossed over manor. In fact, we learn a very little about these people - it's much like playing a virtual race car game, you get a general feel for the real thing but reality is far from it. Consequently, this could be largely attributed to the limited format and scope of the film.

The real intent of this film was to highlight the dynamics W.'s life - a man continually trying to overcome his perceived and real short comings, trying to feel self-made, trying to fight off addition, and trying to always gain the approval of his father and the 'Bush name'. However, in chiefly focusing in on Bush while also trying to tackle the larger story of this administration's policies and politics ends up telling a truncated story about the latter.

The movie operated in a subtle code of sorts, some very brief comments carried serious implications in reality - the decision to use torture, to suppress the media, the desire to invade Iran, a semi-dubious geo-political neo-con agenda and so forth. The hardest pressed issue was Iraq, and the desire to have the infamous "16 words" included about "yellow cake from Niger" (2003 State of the Union address) and the implication that "WMD threat" was a ploy among a few ideas entertained to trigger war.

Thus, the movie is still powerful in a subtle way - Powell, a moderate, symbolizes a lot here - how the neo-cons strong-armed a policy of regime change, the ineffectual role Condi may have played, the lack of using soft power, and of course the now infamous "pottery barn principal" - "you break it you bought it" on Iraq. Seemingly the intent of this film was not to come off historical but have us to see how serious policy decisions were made - sometimes under ridiculously funny circumstances.

An important thing to mention was the movie's good direction - the use of lighting, scenes, and so forth was absolutely brilliant conveying everything from drunkenness to dubious motivations. Very few mistakes were made visually such as a computer running Windows Vista during a time depicted before 2006. Particularly good moments included Rove depicted under a mix of shadow and light, the drunken scenes, and the dream sequences.

What was politically missing from film? What wasn't so subtle was his how this film seemed to implicate that the idea of invading Iraq originated with Bush[43] supporting the idea that that he was always "the decider" when it had existed as far back as the Republican controlled 90's Senate. Plus it down-plays Cheney - the most powerful veep in US history. Another thing missing was Bush family friend - Saudi prince Bandar who played a significant role in W's run up and presidency meeting with him regularly. Little was mentioned about Rummy's routine dressing down of people and how his hijacking of power precipitated abject failure executing the Iraq war. Also there is a no obvious connection to Cheney-Rummy which dated back to the Nixon Administration. Also the David Kay summary as head of ISG (a pit bull like character) was key symbolism lost, this was in the film but doesn't full exploit his earnest feelings about Condi and the WMD issue - basically calling her a lap dog and that Iraq easily did not have WMDs as Cheney tries to inject his own pathetic "evidence" to the contrary.

Seemingly Stone wanted to tell a more stark and realistic story but probably understood the implications both internationally and domestically - also perhaps trying to give a more "even handed" label to this film as well.

In the end, you resign to liking W. the person, and in a sense feel empathy for this protagonist. The movie pays attention to the details it had presented and in the end, make's the film W. quite likable as well. This is a great film and worthy of high praise - however, if you want a more serious chronology of the "Bush war", you'd be better served turning to print or public media programming.

10,000 BC (2008)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Worthy of a watching., 5 August 2008
7/10

The movie 10,000 BC was much like a new take on 1 Million BC and like the original, it certainly had it's moments good and bad (remember Raquel Welsh in "cave" bikini?). This movie has been undeservedly over criticized for it's historical short comings, the mixing of vast parts on the planet, and even down to the modern makeup on the cave-women and so forth but to tell you the truth, it all just simply works. The usage of various and diverse landscapes helps the user follow the film, the acting was generally on par for the genre', and in only a few places it was painfully "Western".

However, the movie pulls on the common strings, men of various backgrounds standing together for a noble cause, a trumped up love story, and some totally unbelievable moments - like where the main character throws a spear an in unbelievable manor.

For some reason, some movies just can not be liked for various and sometimes subtle reasons - and this movie should not be one of them. I WANTED to hate this movie, roll my eyes at the historical inaccuracies, the "sub-par acting", and cheesy "been there and done that" plot which anyone could try to say about this film. However, to the contrary ,the movie did exploit some common old themes but with the special effects it was entirely entertaining. I read a good book called "Guns, Germs and Steal", which illustrated the fates of human societies, I saw this film pulling on various parts of humanity and telling a convincing allegorical story of the human condition. This movie deserves some credit and was entirely what I expected for "Western" audiences (i.e. average movie goer). I suggest you heat up the popcorn and hit the play button.

10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Not just another heavily laden documentary on Saddam's tyranny., 12 June 2007
8/10

I'm sure we all think that we know everything that there is to know about Saddam, however I found the documentary "Saddam's Tribe" to be a very astute portrayal of the 1990s Saddam era. This documentary was narrated unofficially through the eyes of Saddam's daughter Raghad, and does a fascinating job of sticking to her point of view while simultaneously maintaining a very accurate portrayal of events. It's simply brilliant because it allows us to see a side of Saddam which we hardly get through the lens of the Western media.

I've read extensively about Saddam and have formed many of the same character opinions and details about events as in this film. I was actually impressed that they had got it right, which is kind of rare to see that on American television; usually it's the typical images of him shooting off guns and hanging people in the streets.

Many see the man as more of a one dimensional character - a dictator. Saddam was a well organized man, a Stalinist, and the only 'who' when concerning the 'who's who' of Iraq. The "Ace of Spaces" or the "butcher of Baghdad" in the eyes of the West was minimized because he was much more to his people who supported him, and this documentary allows somewhat of a venue for that realistic view.

Raghad's point of view as realistic since it was certainly feasible for Saddam to lavishly cater to his family while treating other tribes and sects as pawns in his illusions for a pan-Arab state. It's actually the way it works in Iraq, tribes come first, his tribe came first, he trusted and relied on them by elevating them to preeminent roles even when they were totally unqualified.

Perhaps what was missing from his character was purposely left out of the film since Raghad would not have seen it so easily? Most notably, Saddam's clear character flaw in always having one foot in 'old world' and one foot in 'modern world'. For example as a consequence to this, he once scoffed at the US support for Israel as "there were clearly more Arab nations, why support the Jews", illustrating a total lack of understanding on his part. It could also be argued, that perhaps the movie had it's "cheesy parts", such as the car scene which was unrealistic, and it's rough dialog compared to Hollywood standards; but as a drama unfolding through the eyes of his daughter, it struck me as brilliant.

In it all, we see the corruption of reality from within Raghad's point of view as it "subsequently" falls apart as she transcends throughout the film. In reality, she is finally able to see what we all see in her father, a cold, calculating, evil tyrant bent on ends justified through any means. Through her suffering we can empathize with her need to forgive and accept her father for who he really is as we forgive those who have close ties in our own tribes.

257 out of 318 people found the following review useful:
One of the best unseen foreign films, 30 March 2005
10/10

I have seen this movie only recently (2005) and it's easily one of the better foreign films I have seen. Actually, it's probably just about one of the best films I had ever seen.

The characters really make this movie come alive with each of their compelling personalities shining though in the backdrop of oppressive conditions and constant violence. One thing which clearly comes to mind is "Lil' Dice's" ear to ear smile - so vivid and yet so ironic since he personifies pure evil.

The City of God is a world you don't want to visit, it won't be featured on a post card, and it's said to be the city ignored by god himself. This movie makes you feel uncomfortable, puts you on the edge of your seat -- you are right into the middle of the City and you too are caught up in it's violent temptation. More importantly, it's about the triumph of the human spirit against all odds.

This movie in effect is fast paced and hard to follow (with the added stress of subtitles over Portuguese), but it's worth it; and in fact really adds to the impetuous and impulsive undertones of the movie. In addition, the quintessential Brazilian music blending into the film like a well made Caprahina makes it feel authentic like the Italian music in the God Father.

You see the flaws of these men played out in an almost fatalistic nature -- hated, greed, futility; and in it all we see ourselves, our own flaws, and our own condition.