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shawnamabrey-1

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12 reviews in total 
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Pandemic (2009/II)
0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Fun, 21 October 2010
1/10

I was remembering this movie with my husband last night and we were both laughing about it. Well, not remembering the movie, per se, but its title. We have a long standing joke between us because he is guaranteed to somehow rent out the worst movies, but never on purpose. The joke rose to new heights with Pandemic. The movie was so bad, I barely recognize it now when I watch the trailer, which is in itself NOT GOOD. How can any of you watch this trailer and then go out and rent this, rationalizing that it might end up decent?

You know how some women are really bad at choosing men to have relationships with? "Um, Betty, he gave you two black eyes and f***ed your sister, I don't think he's gonna change honey!"

Some men are just bad at picking out movies in a similar way. They need a support group.

I usually roll my eyes when he strolls in the door and announces the title of whatever movie he picked up that day, and most times I don't even watch them. But I had some spare time and decided to watch it.

It started out poor, but much to my surprise it somehow got worse. To be honest that's all I remember about it except that I finally gave up and left the room,coming in to check on my husband with comments for him such as "Jesus Christ! Are you still watching this crap?". After what seemed an eternity, I'd return and the movie would STILL be on!. I'd exclaim "Jesus H! How long is that movie!" He was drooling on himself, mumbling "I don't know!". See, my husband is a very frugal man, and he was going to get every penny's worth out of the buck he spent at the video vending machine (known as red_box). The poor fellow was learning himself a lesson. Frugality is sometimes a point of contention between my husband and I, but at this point all I could do was feel pity for him. He had no idea what was going on in the movie even though he had been forcing himself to watch it for at least the past 34 or so hours (it's really that long), because the direction is so bad that you just don't CARE what is going on anymore. Do you know how frugal he must to be to sit through this movie in its entirety?

I just love to marvel at the fact that this movie even got made, and somebody heard the plot and said "Yeah! Everyone will want to see THIS!". That somebody has a daddy with a LOT of money and pull I'd wager, and whined enough about wanting to make a movie of their own, despite having an IQ of 72, that daddy relented, and funded the project. The poor child. Or parent, I should say. See those reviews of this movie that have something "nice" to say? Those are friends of the family, people who feel sorry for this kid living out his dream and not getting too far. In the real world, I know people like that too, except they work in fast food or in janotorial services where their work actually helps the world and means something. This is what makes this movie kinda fun. But I CAN guarantee that the lead guy with the beard is one of the director's best friends, because his acting is about as good as his buddy's directing.

Anyways, the only reason I can think of to get pandemic is if you have a frenemy or disliked family member you need to buy a gift for. In fact, this movie would make a great pairing with Freddie Got Fingered to that effect.

1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Absolutely Brilliant Feel Good Dark Comedy, 17 March 2010
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is an unusual and riveting combination of poignant drama and startling dark comedy in a way I haven't seen anyone but Tarantino pull off with panache. I don't think I've seen a movie with finer pace and styling. From the costumes to the photographic images sprinkled throughout the film, very polished.

Christoph Waltz STUNNED me with his portrayal of Col Hans Landa, the iciest villain I've ever seen, made easy to appreciate with Tarantino's fine direction. Every moment of his on screen time slowly drips with agonizing, captivating suspense. Despite one's knowledge of history, this movie builds a slow and evolving hope and simultaneous sadness in the viewer that the characters in this film can pull their ultimate goal of bringing down Hitler: I sat through the movie with a sad feeling, knowing how all movies about people who try to overtake Hitler always end. I don't think anyone really believes it's even POSSIBLE to rewrite history until the answer finally comes. It's climax is a wonderful combination of cathartic satisfaction and fantastic entertainment. I couldn't help but laugh and clap out loud by the end. It was kind of an "Obama winning" moment for an American audience, but much more stylish.

Other things I personally loved about this film: -The finest placement of a David Bowie song in film that I've ever seen. That scene should have been made into a separate music video. -Hitler getting aggravated, and eventually butchered. Delicious!

This is one I will own and see repeatedly.

Vinyan (2008)
61 out of 100 people found the following review useful:
This is not a story!, 24 April 2009
10/10

I don't usually write reviews, but this film needs to be rescued from the grumpy hoi polloi who thought it was a horror flick and found it to be more than they could probably handle. This film is being badly mis-marketed.

This movie is exactly what it aspired to be. It conveyed something deep and meaningful. The question is, who would even want to understand such a thing? It is not my kind of movie and I had no idea what to expect when I rented it, but I kind of got sucked into it. It gave me bad dreams; it haunted me for a few days.

This film reminds me a little bit of Apocalypse Now, the photography and locations are stunning. There are scenes I will probably never be able to forget, and some I don't wish to. I think what makes this story so frightening is that everything that happens in it is plausible. That is hard to accept for some people.

From the opening scene, the imagery and sounds are stunning. To put it simply: This movie is about what it really, really means deep down for a family to lose their child; is their any sadder thing to contemplate? I don't expect everyone to even be capable of remaining receptive to this movie after the first half; it took work for me.

Viewers who wish to see darkness as art will be very pleased. For those who prefer glam decadence and prepackaged fluff, go watch Requiem For a Dream. For those who want nice, pretty stories, watch Rachel's Wedding.

Juno (2007)
21 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
For those who go around putting their blissfully ignorant, rosecolored worldview on every tragedy and call it "art"., 20 February 2009
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is not a typical film review; there are plenty of those around here. This is more like an observation, after seeing Juno. It won't serve as well unless you have already seen the movie.

Juno represents what is the most deeply wrong in American culture since the sexual revolution. And I am decidedly not an uptight conservative, but one who has traveled the world and opened my mind to seeing what works and what doesn't. In regards to how we parent and how we treat women and motherhood, America has thrown out the baby with the bathwater. This film is a great example of how, not only for its content, but how our public has so warmly received it.

The good news (for a few): if you are a precocious and knocked up teenager or their self-absorbed parents, this film might help you to see things more positively about your situation.

The bad news (for most of you): if you are a fairly inexperienced and not knocked up teenager, this film will make you feel like you are really missing out on something.

Teenagers already struggle to understand the consequences of their actions, and this film is a BIG hit with teenage girls. It's socially irresponsible to paint such a reality about teenage pregnancy.

In fact, there have even been NEWS REPORTS about how more teenagers wish to become pregnant as a result of seeing this movie. Just like when kids watched Jackass and hurt themselves doing stupid things because their parents were absentee. I am sure some people would like to blame it on the kids; but shouldn't there be SOME level to which American film doesn't stoop any lower? Is nothing sacred at all?

Some things really just shouldn't be exploited for the sake of feeling good entertainment. I can guarantee you that whoever wrote his film has never suffered the loss of a child or endured the REAL stress that comes from being an unwed teenage mother.

This film is made by a bunch of limousine liberals who see the ironic beauty in every ugly detail and REALLY don't know when to say when. I'm not knocking liberals in general, just the ones who have never really had to work a day in their lives and find new and creative ways to waste their time on earth. To those, I extend my middle finger.

This is, hands down, the most socially irresponsible and dangerous film I have ever seen, made more dangerous by its very "innocent, positive vibe". It targets kids and families with a very wrong message; the very message young adults get by default when nobody explains a bit of reality to them. It makes me very angry. But more importantly, the fact that so many don't get why, makes me very sad.

9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
How does a woman feel in the dark?, 21 February 2008
10/10

I lack the ability to objectively scrutinize this film's value on a movie-goers' level. This film's artistry took me beyond the aesthetic and intellectual, and into a phsychological landscape I haven't been before or since.

One must grasp the chaos, or have been a witness to it in their own reality, to feel the depth of this film and Lynch's use of contrasting landscapes of innocence vs. evil, duality, contradiction, femininity, nostalgia, Etc., that somehow manage to make perfect sense: as long as we don't try to make sense of it. This film is about getting lost. It must be intuited, felt in the dark, to be truly appreciated. It's the only cinematic experience that I call "magical". I was unable to review this in an impersonal way.

Besides that, and for those who don't really "get it", the acting, directing, production, writing, plot, Etc. all make the film worth seeing more than once. But those are just the little things.

4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
What is going on here?, 25 January 2008
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This website used to be a place I could get fairly reliable reviews. It appears to be now polluted with idiots or people getting paid by the studios because everyone in the theater where I saw this let out mumbles of disappointment by the film's end, yet I see plenty of enthusiastic reviews on here. Cloverfield is a very big disappointment and a total ripoff on a whole slew of footage and Fx that were made for prior films. It lacks everything from originality, good acting, pace, character development, Etc. I left the theater with a minor headache. There were a few suspenseful scenes, but not worth the hassle. Also, I am not coming back to this website for reliable reviews again.

8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
It's American psychology and pop culture incarnate., 23 May 2007
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This ambiguously amoral and unrealistic film is about self-serving people lacking in basic family values or rational behavior impulsively doing whatever 'feels right'. Persecution of the majority (not that any persecution is right) and complete chaos in the white middle class conscience. We have the divorce rate, incredibly obese and ignorant generations, and police state of a government to prove it. A lack of direction, culture, and good old-fashioned VALUES logically grounded by the world you grew up in. Full-grown adults licensed to act out in whatever way satisfies their 'emotions' and expect to be appreciated for it too.

What makes this film bad is that it wasn't really TRYING to be those things. It just happened on accident. I give the film three stars by its ability to even provoke me, as based on the previews I didn't expect it to be even remotely provocative. The only thing it was genuine in was at revealing what completely immature quasi-romantic a*holes people can be. Guy takes girl to meet his family. The girl is hate-worthy merely for being SO uptight and concerned that she doesn't displease them. But the family is really disgusting in their lack of grace. Completely selfish, unsupportive, hypocritical, and self ritchous. I found myself annoyed that I felt any pity for the mom with cancer. I too wanted to get on a bus and go far, far, away, or stay in a hotel, just to get away from all these people. That was the only humor in the film. Based on virtually none of the characters being likable save the girlfriend's sister (played by Danes), the ironic twist toward the end is made even more annoying.

We hated the characters, and by the end, hated the director for giving a somewhat happy ending. Not in the real world, pal.

Sublime (2007) (V)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
unoriginal, predictable social science fiction, 7 April 2007
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a bit tired, but this movie isn't worth a very deep review. I knew just from the preview that the plot involved a guy in a coma. I'm not bragging, the movie just sucks that hard. Complete ripoff on Jacob's Ladder, minus the clever directing. This is the worst movie I've seen all year. The only good point was the dialog of the black dude. Somebody took a few social science and psychology clichés from modern America and tried to build a movie from it it and ended up with crap on a stick instead. Add an extremely violent scene of digits being removed with pliers and you have an absurdly trite gross-out fest. I strongly suggest watching Jacobs Ladder as an alternative...or a putting a sharp stick in the eye for that matter.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Funny...because the joke's on you, 9 March 2007
2/10

I didn't take the time to read all of the positive reviews prefaced by blatantly conceited crap some on here wrote for this high brow thinking man's comedy for educated individuals, but I think the joke is on them.

I rented this because my fiancé is North Indian and thought at least one of us might find some clever irony or comedy in the film. I think I laughed once; when Brooks made fun of Indians for not getting sarcasm or irony. The delivery for doing so was not even impressive. Was the apparently intentional ignorance toward Eastern culture supposed to be funny? Contrived irony? I call it comedic masturbation. Self-deprecating narcissism might be funny in a few Woody Allen flicks, but it's SO tired.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Had most of the ingredients to be great..., 2 October 2006
4/10

I didn't read the book. I didn't have to in order to anticipate a great story. The subject matter of this film should have made it a pretty intriguing tale that kept me on the edge of my seat. Instead, I found several holes in the story and too many unanswered questions.

I didn't grow especially attached to the characters. The casting felt wrong. Rather than feeling sadness or outrage at the characters' circumstances, I felt vague annoyance at being exposed to their vulgar suffering.

I didn't know that the actors were Chinese when I watched the movie, yet I was left with a distinct feeling that the film had many Chinese elements that did not belong. I also had a very hard time understanding some important dialog in the movie.

Like most American films, this movie had great visual style, astounding beauty, but when it comes right down to it, the movie had no soul. It lacked the acute sorrow one commonly finds in this flavor of film. When a film accomplishes the beautiful imagery, has a fantastic setting and budget to work with, yet still fails, I am even more disappointed. I would definitely not wish to watch the film again.


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