Reviews written by registered user

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15 reviews in total 
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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Really awful, 6 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is just a poor, poor excuse for a children's movie. There are some movies you can take your kid to see that don't insult your kid's intelligence and don't insult the parent's either. This isn't one of them though my 7 year old liked the movie. It won't amuse anyone with half a brain who is much older than 7 though.

The script is so lame that within a few minutes you know what will happen throughout. Sandler moronically mugs his way through his part, which is no surprise since so many characters he chooses to play are moronic. But what are good actors like Jonathan Pryce, Guy Pearce, and Lucy Lawless doing in this mess? The fairy tale sequences, which are featured so prominently in the ad campaign, make up a very short part of the movie and in no way make up for the lame-brained "real" plot.

The most unrealistic element of the whole movie, though it is inevitable, is that the Keri Russell character, a teacher pursuing an advanced degree, would fall in love with a blithering idiot who repeatedly insulted her.

One curiosity to note is the apparently ageless Richard Griffiths who looks exactly the same as he did 18 years ago in the Naked Gun 2 1/2.

CBGB (2013)
2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
You don't have to have been there, 8 November 2013

I have no emotional investment in the time, place, or music represented in the movie CBGB. If anything, I prefer the Country, Blue Grass, and Blues Hilly original meant to present in his bar. But, never having been to CBGB or having any great interest in the bands who developed there, I can react to the movie as a movie instead of worrying about whether the CBGB in the movie really matches up with what I saw there or whether the actors chosen to play my favorite band really look or sound like the people they're playing.

So? I liked the movie. I liked Hilly, the main character in the movie who started CBGB. The film is frequently amusing, such as when Hilly's mom (played by the same actress who was George Costanza's mom on Seinfeld) enjoys a bowl of the chili.

The acting is fine. Rickman does a good job and I didn't realize until the credits that it was Freddy Rodriguez very convincingly playing the junkie Idaho.

I went to see a screening with a musician who'd played CBGB in the early 90s and he said, yes it was that filthy and Rickman does a pretty good job as Hilly. One of the producers and an actress who'd had a small part in the film were also there and added a lot of information.

If you're interested in the start of Punk and weren't there, you'll probably like the movie. If you were there, it may depend on how much historical accuracy you expect. You shouldn't expect a lot of historical accuracy in any movie though, so take it for what it is: a fairly entertaining movie.

Cube (1997)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
I watched it because it was highly rated on IMDb, 21 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Really? 7.5 stars? Why?

Not a bad premise but so ridiculous and badly acted that I can't see why anyone would give it more than 5 stars. The actors who played Quentin and Holloway were so bad that I looked them up and was surprised to see they had actually appeared in other films. I can give the actors a break though since the characters were so unbelievable that maybe no one could have make them believable.

One big problem, the coordinates Leven is supposed to work out. If the rooms move, wouldn't their coordinates have to change? So you would never know where you are. Other people have already pointed out Leaven's inability to recognize that numbers that end in 5 or 2 can't be prime or that Kazan was wrong about the number of prime factors of various numbers. These are details that make a difference. Anyone who knows a lot about math (not me in other words) would just slap their forehead and turn Cube off. Which is what I should have done.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Not a Ghost Story, 15 October 2008

Originally I gave this movie 9 stars but came back to give it 10 stars. Virtually flawless, a masterpiece and a work of art. Not a ghost story, though there is a ghost. It is, as all great movies are, about people not ghosts or special effects.

The cinematography is beautiful, the story works on more than one level, and the acting is excellent. del Toro's work with the children is particularly noteworthy and has nothing to do with the ersatz cuteness that is practically required in American movies. The story may work at an allegorical level for those familiar with the Spanish Civil War but, even for those without that knowledge, the characters are realistic and well-drawn enough to draw the viewer in. The mystery, what happened to the dead boy who haunts the school, is interesting but not central as we watch the last days of the school and wait to see which characters will survive its end.

I can't recommend this movie more highly.

This is a great movie, 4 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yes, I said great movie. Kenan and Kel are the Laurel and Hardy of the 90s. I wish they'd done more movies.

This actually was the best movie I saw in 1997. Any movie with Abe Vigoda playing the world's oldest fast food worker has to be good. Besides that the musical scene set in the insane asylum, with Mr. George (P-Funk) Clinton himself leading line dancing mental patients, is classic.

Yes, it's silly. Yes, it's frequently stupid. But it is funny. Your kids will like it too. "I'm a dude. He's a dude. She's a dude. 'Cause we're all dudes."

Hard Candy (2005)
Disturbing movie, 13 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First, this IS an extremely disturbing movie. I can understand both the people who hated it and those who really liked it. Page and Wilson are terrific in their roles and I don't find the premise wholly unbelievable though there are some things that stretch my willingness to suspend disbelief. But, on the whole, it's an intelligent film and worthwhile.

Here there be spoilers, so don't proceed unless you want to know or already know what happens.

Probably the most disturbing feature of the film is that the pedophile/murderer becomes a more sympathetic figure than his intended "victim." I think that this is because Jeff basically tells the truth (or mostly the truth) throughout the movie while Hayley lies all the time. I believe that nothing Hayley says is true; she isn't 14 (she could be anywhere from 16-19), she isn't the daughter of a med school professor, she doesn't have an older sister who dropped her off at Nighthawks, etc. What Hayley is is a victim of a pedophile and she has set out to discover and punish pedophiles who prey on girls who are the age she was when she was victimized. She is brilliant, but she isn't a brilliant 14 year old. Page was 17 when she played the role, and no matter how smart Hayley is, she isn't a 14 year old.

Jeff obviously lies about his part in the disappearance of Diane and about his sexual desires for teenage girls. But I believed the story about his aunt and cousin was true and so were many of the other things he said, especially when he told Hayley that she would always remember what she was about to do and regret it if she went ahead. He was speaking from personal experience, but that didn't stop him from pursuing girls.

In addition, Jeff's reactions are recognizably human but Hayley is totally remorseless throughout, with the exception of a momentary expression of exhaustion or self-disgust when she is at the kitchen sink.

The scenes of Jeff, bound and helpless and being psychologically tortured by Hayley, are the most disturbing in the film. His helplessness makes him more sympathetic than the relentlessly manipulative Hayley especially since, for much of the movie, we're not quite certain whether Jeff is a pedophile or murderer. These scenes are probably the reason that most people dislike the movie. (Many males probably have a visceral disgust for the castration scenes.) But we never see any "real blood" and very little violence. I find the torture porn movies, like Saw and Hostel, far more disturbing precisely because of the lack of character development, because the actors are just empty pawns whose pain is meant to titillate the audience. Jeff's very real terror evokes more real emotion and is therefore more disturbing to those who might not mind Saw.

The weakness in the film is that I found it hard to believe that Hayley would be able to physically dominate the far larger, stronger Jeff even after drugging him. Page is petite and Hayley would have had to lug around a large and totally unconscious body. Especially stringing him up in the kitchen seemed unlikely.

I'd be interested in the reaction of women vs. men in their feelings on the movie. Men are probably uncomfortable with the castration scenes and the ease with which Hayley entices and manipulates Jeff sexually. Hits pretty close to men's fears.

But, if you're willing to watch and especially if you don't know the story going in, it's a very thought-provoking film.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Good for its genre, 12 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm not a fan of slasher movies, but this one is very well done. Before commenting on the plot I have to say Cecile de France's performance is really a cut above the usual. I've seen her in a couple of other movies and she was good but I thought she was outstanding in this one.

Spoilers below: I watched the film already knowing what the big plot twist at the end is. Even knowing, I really didn't see any clues. In fact there are several things that would make the big reveal seem impossible.

First, where did the truck come from? Did Marie drive it there before she arrived with Alex? How did she leave it there then go back and ride with Alex? Did she just find it equipped with chains, gags, and shotgun? If she outfitted and pre-positioned the truck, what's the deal with handing Alex a knife to protect herself? Second, the car chase couldn't have occurred at all, yet Marie has injuries from crashing the car throughout the end of the movie.

Those are a cheat, as is showing the surveillance camera in the gas station with the male killer being taped. Still, very effective particularly if watched without knowing what's going to happen.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
This film is deep- or at least thinks it is, 23 November 2007

I sat down to this film preparing for something amazing, considering the array of great actors. I was puzzled at first, but I went along with it. But the more layers this film piles on, the "deeper" it becomes, it becomes muddled. I wasn't asking myself existential questions watching this; I was asking, "Did these actors even read the script?"

Our film starts with our hero, or antihero, or regular guy- the movie can't decide- isn't this the sign of a truly intellectual movie? cursing himself out. The movie then sort of plods along, as if the whole thing is some big inside joke you're not going to be let in on. The plot, such as it is, concerns some existential detectives our hero hires, and a firefighter going through a darker crisis, and other stuff I'm not going to take the time to explain, as the summary does the best one possibly could in describing this movie.

One previous reviewer describes this movie as visual eye candy. Not quite, good sir- it's gross and ugly. But that means it's smart and wonderful, right?

Another thing this movie does wrong is bill itself as an existential comedy. It's not a comedy; comedies have jokes. Don't write me off as some Scrooge- I'd be pretty hard pressed to find actual jokes. Waiting for Godot is a laugh riot compared to this. No comedy should take itself so seriously. It's as if the director realized it was destined for greatness, and decided to take some chances. But he failed. And as much as it pains me to say this, this movie is not worth your time or money.

Joyride (1997)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Somewhat entertaining, terrible ending, 20 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I obviously didn't find this as bad as many reviewers here did. I thought it started off well with Maguire and Wilson Cruz playing kids just out of high school stuck in a nowhere town with nothing to do and no future. The very hot Tanya is staying in the dumpy motel Maguire runs with his dad while her father pimps her out to blackmail men he brings back to the motel to have (never consumated) sex with her. So far so good.

Then the lethal, beautiful female assassin also staying at the dump makes a mistake, leaving her latest victim in the trunk of her car. Maguire and his two friends boost it, dump the body in the lake, then kick the crap out of some crackers. From here on it's all downhill. Ms. Smith (the assassin) proves too emotionally attached to her car to just walk away and get out of town. She keeps ineffectually threatening the kids while Benicio barely bothers to even try to appear to care he's supposed to be playing a detective in this movie. None of this makes any sense. The ending is ludicrous as Maguire, who's supposed to be flat broke, has the car repainted and adds on new tires. All this in an attempt to cover up the fact that this isn't the same car used throughout the earlier parts of the movie. In a final non sequitor, the assassin blows up the car she's hung around town to retrieve at risk of arrest for double murders.

Wilson Cruz is good, Maguire isn't terrible in an underwritten part, Amy Hathaway brings her role off. Most of the other actors don't have much to work with, even Adam West as the hotties pimp dad. Benicio has no excuses though.

10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Camp classic, 26 July 2006

Poor dubbing, special effects, and acting- oh my! This is truly one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Clearly made in Italy and then dubbed over in America to hopefully make more more money, this is a horribly done copy of Star Wars. The "story" is as follows: A "Brilliant" professor and his "Brilliant" assistant are kidnapped by some guys with Blonde wigs on. Some space station attempts to save them. Hilarity ensues. Every once in a while, a bunch of colors will flash across the screen for half a minute. This movies is probably best to avoid if you experience seizures. Actually, this movie is probably best to avoid no matter what.

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