Reviews written by registered user
johnfos

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48 reviews in total 
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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A Matter of Life and Death, 13 June 2006
8/10

I've just seen this movie for the first time and thought I would pen a short comment, but feel that Look Both Ways is a movie that could improve with multiple viewings...

Over the space of a weekend we follow a group of ordinary Australians who are mostly connected through the tragedy of a train crash. We watch as couples and families work through their feelings, cope with their relationships, and manage health problems.

In so doing Look Both Ways explores the ups and downs we all face as we lead our lives and has a relevance for each and every viewer. It's not just light entertainment, there is a serious message here as well.

And yet this is not a movie that has actors preaching to the audience; in fact there is very limited dialogue. The movie is often carried by fast-moving images and an eclectic soundtrack.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Robin Williams steals the show!, 13 June 2006
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Robin Williams only has one scene in this film, but it has become my favourite scene in the whole movie.

Robin is one of my favourite actors and his role here as the crazy Russian Dr Kosevich is hilarious.

The story goes that the eccentric gynaecologist has mainly worked on rats and monkeys, and only recently moved up to humans. The confusion which ensues in the consultation room, as he tries to cope with the new computer and a high-tech examination table, will surely have you laughing out loud.

Trivia: Nine Months is a US remake of the French movie Neuf mois.

13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Bhutanese road movie, 31 May 2006
8/10

It's a bit simplistic to call this a "road movie", but certainly much of the story follows a group of unlikely Bhutanese travellers hitch-hiking and riding in all manner of vehicles. Interspersed with this theme is a second story of a love triangle in the rugged mountains. Both stories are commentaries about the complexities of life and romance in the Himalayas as western ways take root.

Comparisons will inevitably be drawn with Khyentse Norbu's earlier movie, The Cup, and I have to admit that I preferred The Cup. I'll never forget the youthful exuberance of those monks as the World Cup soccer final approached. And I feel the Buddhist message was a bit more direct in The Cup.

However, the tagline of Travellers and Magicians is "The bitter and sweet of temporary things", and this sounds pretty Buddhist to me. We tend to forget that everything is transitory and grasp at it as if it will exist forever, and this is the cause of our suffering.

And that, kind friends, is the extent of my Buddhist wisdom for today.

Enjoy!

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A "David versus Goliath" Story, 29 May 2006
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One woman took on a corporate giant, and won. This is her story...

The people in the small town of Hinkley in California suffered more than their share of serious illnesses, including cancer. Near the town was a plant owned by a Californian utility company. This film traces the link between the running of the plant and the local people who became sick, and is based on a true story.

Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts in an award-winning performance) worked as a filing clerk in a small legal firm and she was the one who initially suspected something was wrong. She made many visits to Hinkley and interviewed the people there. And she found out about the toxic chemical Chromium 6, used at the plant as a rust inhibitor, which had leached into the groundwater.

The story which unfolds has a mix of investigation, cover-up, and intrigue. And in the end crucial company documents, thought shredded, appear. The company eventually paid a $333 million settlement to the affected people in Hinkley.

Part of what made all of this so extraordinary was that Erin was not a lawyer and had very limited legal experience. She was also a single mother with three young children.

Another film which is about industrial pollution causing water supply contamination is A Civil Action (1998).

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A Rare Gem!, 2 March 2006
10/10

This is a rare glimpse of the Beach Boys from 1964, reaching the peak of their career, before Brian retired from touring with the group. The sound is great and they make it all look so easy!

Brian's fingers dance around his bass guitar as he sings in his slightly self-conscious way. And the whole group is obviously having a good time.

My favourite songs are two rather mellow Brian Wilson tunes -- 'In my Room' and 'Surfer Girl'. But punchier hits such as 'Surfin' USA' and 'Fun, Fun, Fun' also feature. And several novelty songs, like 'Long Tall Texan', are included.

Hitch (2005/I)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Enjoyable light entertainment, 20 August 2005
9/10

Judging from recent comments, people seem to either love or hate this movie. So, I will try to cover some middle ground...

The film is light entertainment, not a heavyweight blockbuster. It is an entertaining romantic comedy, the kind of lightweight movie you could watch to unwind after a long hard day at work.

As you know, the story of the movie revolves around Hitch (Will Smith), a "date doctor", who is helping Albert establish a relationship with Allegra. The irony is that Hitch's ever-so-cool demeanor starts to unravel when he tries to establish his own relationship (with Sarah). Both relationships intertwine and there are some laugh-out-loud funny scenes. And a few quite touching scenes towards the end.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Quirky comedy set in the Mojave desert, 16 August 2005
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a delightful little film. Some might call it a quirky comedy...

The lives of the central characters intersect at a small roadside cafe in the Mojave desert. Initially, there are misunderstandings and tensions, but eventually they resolve and everyone lives and works together happily.

The film moves at a fairly slow pace initially, and the haunting theme tune contributes to this. But towards the end of the movie, things are decidedly up-beat and the movie turns into an extended song and dance routine! The cafe is transformed into a popular truck stop and everyone lives happily ever after...

If you liked this film, you may also like The Station Agent (2003), another quirky comedy with a rural setting.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
The first Japanese surfing road movie in Australia, 7 August 2005
9/10

This movie is very different and difficult to describe...

It is a music video movie, where there is little dialogue, and some fairly tasteful music choices and nifty camera-work help to move the movie along.

It is a comical movie, which doesn't take itself too seriously. Some scenes are downright funny, especially those with Gunja-man! And there are short comic strip interludes which add a surreal and humorous quality.

It is a road movie, which documents a crazy and meandering trip in an old Holden around some of our "Sunburnt Country". Many notable tourist spots are included, as well as some outback desert scenery.

It is a spiritual movie, which has many Buddhist references. Nirvana, Enlightenment, Void, Illusion and several lines from the Heart Sutra are all mentioned. The movie is portrayed as being somewhere between reality and a dream and is quite atmospheric.

It's a psychedelic and counter-cultural movie. Nimbin is mentioned several times and several scenes seem "other-worldly".

It is a surfing movie, with many allusions to the classic Australian surfing film from the 70s, "Morning of the Earth". Two of Brian Cadd's original songs from "Morning of the Earth" are included in "Bondi Tsunami"... deja vu...

This movie successfully integrates all these genres and may be destined to become a cult classic...

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Love it or hate it?, 24 July 2005
9/10

Judging from previous comments, opinion is divided on this film -- most people seem to love it or hate it...

Certainly if you're expecting laugh-out-loud comedy you will be disappointed. The comedy offered here is much more quirky and perhaps even whimsical.

And if you're expecting a movie with a brisk pace, you will be forced to change gears and sit back and (hopefully) relax and enjoy. The first hour of the movie is really quite slow.

Eventually, though, the somewhat convoluted story-line begins to cut in, and things pick up, until we quite warm to the odd character that is Steve Zissou. In the end we actually empathise with him. (Images of Jacques Costeau also come to mind at several points.)

Tasteful renderings of a series of David Bowie songs (many in Portugese) helps the movie along and contributes to its exotic flavour.

15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Put your mind in neutral and be entertained!, 14 July 2005
7/10

This is a great movie for relaxing after a hard day at work. It's sheer escapism and good-humoured fun that only requires the watcher to put their mind in neutral, rest their feet, and not think too much.

A lot of the gags are not very original; we've seen most of them before in some other form. But the basic premise of a Police Academy full of misfits provides a novel context.

I've only seen this first movie of the series and don't really have plans to see any of the others. Can't believe they've made ssssssssooooo many sequels.

Too much Police Academy could certainly wear a bit thin, but first time around it's sheer good fun.


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