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Tüzoltó utca 25. (1973)
This is a Good Movie unless you only like Hollywood formula films
Interesting to see that at the point I voted for this film roughly one-third of those who voted gave this movie a 10 -- and yet the votes of the other two-thirds people has held the voting down to an average under 5. Clearly -- to me -- a sign that most people watching this film "just didn't get it."
And I can't blame them too much. People unfamiliar with watching movies with a high amount of visual symbolism and with a unique slant might just not know how to appreciate a film like this. Additionally, they may not have had the advantage that I had of being told in advance that nearly everything in the film is DREAM sequence (and most if not all of those dreams being memories of significant experiences in their lives especially as in relation to war, fascism and/or facing possible or even certain death) of the different characters that live in this building in Hungary which is under -- or about to be under -- demolition. This gives this viewer the feeling, "I am now seeing what these people were remembering, feeling and thinking just before they were going to die." Understanding this in advance perhaps made it much easier for me to appreciate this film without the unnecessary thoughts in my head like, "That's not realistic. It is supposed to be hot and he is not even sweating!" because in dreams things are not so realistic sometimes -- and even if they are, creative license can easily be allowed for this Hungarian Masterpiece.
This is a very interesting film with characters of varying ages and varying concerns, some very riveting actors, and it is with English subtitles (which I much preferred to dubbed). People with knowledge of Hungarian history will understand this film the best perhaps, but the montage of peeks into the thoughts and conversations -- all dreams, and memories within dreams -- give glimpses of history that many of us know, or should know, at least a little something about (such as life under Nazi rule -- or simply the interactions between people in varying situations, most of which are times that "test" one's humanity if you will.
I love the cinematography in this film. This is a feast to the eye visually in much of the film. But be prepared to witness some tragedy. And be prepared to think about things you may have never thought about before -- which is one of the things I love about foreign films. Good foreign films tend to broaden our minds, stimulate us, and also see the commonality of all peoples. While we see things that are, well, foreign, we also see that no matter what nationality, religion or creed, humanity has much more in common with one another than differences. It is truly what matters most that we have in common.
I checked the box for spoilers even though I am not giving away some key things about this movie. I checked it because perhaps for some people saying that these are all dream sequences would be considered a spoiler, not sure! I will say this, that this movie is not about the day that nothing happened. It is about the day that just about every character in this film, for all they know, will be dead tomorrow. They are, to say the least, feeling just a bit stressed.
In this day and age with info wars, conventional wars and threats of atomic-scope wars and globally powerful multinational corporations dictating to nations as if dictators, I think it is a good time to watch this film. What is that saying? Something like that those who don't learn their history well, and learn from that history, are doomed to repeat it, again and again. Mankind has repeated war for thousands of years. I hope it is on a learning curve by now.
Try it. You'll like it. ;)
So Wrong They're Right (1995)
Not just a documentary about 8-tracks but a commentary on consumerism
I loved this documentary. I think that a person has to have one of two qualities to really like this film: (a) be sick of a society and marketplace that tells us what to consume, (b) really love music and especially music that came out before the mid-80s.
If you fit both (a) and (b) this movie just may leave you hankering to get your own 8-track and panting to start up your own 8-track tape collection. It sure did that to me! Last and only 8-track I had was something I waved goodbye to when I sold my car in 1985 (it went with the car, along with my 8-track tape collection). Looking back now, I realize that was the LAST year I REALLY enjoying listening to music in my car or at home with full enjoyable abandon.
Music on the radio took a nosedive about the same time the marketing powers-that-be deigned that all consumers must send their 8-tracks to the landfills and buy something new and digital. That may be just a coincidence, I don't know, but it just makes me hanker for 8-tracks again all the more. As several who were interviewed in this documentary said, I'm looking forward to hearing that "kah-chunk!" I shall be forever grateful to the director and producers and participants who made this film.
The Night and the Moment (1994)
Reminds me of an Ed Wood movie
This is a very strange film indeed. If you can get yourself into the right head space and see it as "strange art" it can be kind of interesting (although the lifestyle of the idle rich in this film is somewhat nauseating, maybe that is good because after this movie I couldn't wait to go outdoors and get some exercise and do something USEFUL with my life -- unlike the characters in this script).
Seeing Dafoe in the style (clothes and speech patterns) of the country and era in which this film is set takes some getting used to, to say the least. Listening to Willem with a British accent is kind of creepy somehow. Flash back to how wonderfully creepy he was as the vampire in that vampire flick he did with John Malkovich. But this is not a vampire flick and I think he was supposed to be sexy in this one. He was much sexier in LIGHT SLEEPER. And if you have a thing for Dafoe, (speaking to the girls here), there is an awesome and tasteful pan of Willems nude backside that is art itself in that flick.
If you watch this movie already expecting it to be a "bad B movie" you might enjoy it. Maybe? The sheer oddness of it? The soft porn is not steamy. Makes one want to go celibate if anything.
At least it has a few good actors and a few subplots that are unique and different.
Prozac Nation (2001)
Misleading Title -- Think Sylvia Plath, Not Analysis of a Drugged Nation
First of all my main criticism of both the book and the movie is the misleading title. From that title I could easily have purchased the book fully expecting some analysis of the sociological phenomenon of a nation which is on drugs in epidemic proportion -- and the numbers of people who have gotten more depressed -- not less -- from taking drugs such as Prozac, and about the pharmaceutical industry being a more powerful cartel even than those who own most of the oil in the world, and their suppression of natural remedies and natural healing, and the reason they love to make so many drugs is because you cannot patent natural plants. Though of course a pharmaceutical company owns Monsanto, who first brought us Agent Orange and now brings us Frankenfoods which could contaminate the food supply for generations to come -- because genetically engineered foods ARE patentable and those creepazoids who are perpetuating this madness only care about owning and controlling the masses. Well, you get my drift.
Therefore I think it is really messed up to use the title that was used. This movie is about one woman and that is fine. But this movie does not give the condemning social analysis of Prozac that any book or movie with that title should. It's just a hook and a rip. This movie does not educate about Prozac (and its sisters Xanax, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, etc.).
Now, about the movie itself, I like Christina Ricci and Anne Heche, love Jessica Lange, so I enjoyed the actors but this is not a movie I would recommend to anyone for entertainment or enjoyment, but I think someone who is going through a lot of depression and still dealing with it might like to watch it just for that good old "misery loves company" feeling. Though Prozac and lithium, and before that Mellaril, did provide her some relief and assistance, it was and is ultimately, what goes on in the author's life and heart that alters her state of mind.
Love watching or reading Sylvia Plath? If so, you will love this movie.
The Aviator (2004)
It just kept missing the mark -- especially in casting the lead -- though good acting and cinematography
Oh gosh. What can I say about this film? Will try to list my comments in order of importance as they seem to me: First, I'm sorry, because I really like DiCaprio. I do. But he just isn't right for this part. Why did they cast him in this? This ruined the film for me because there is just something about DiCaprio -- especially with his baby-face-like physicality -- that just could never ever "scream" Howard Hughes to me. The best way to ruin a film for me is to cast someone so wrong for the part that I can never forget throughout the entire movie, that I am watching an ACTOR. In this case, that was 3 hours of noticing I was watching acting. I couldn't help it. He was just so NOT Howard Hughes. I think the very hardest thing to cast is a role for a biopic of a non-fictional and well-known person. It's tough. When it's good it's great, and when it's not, it's just plain aggravating for the viewer. Don't get me wrong. I think DiCaprio did a fine job of acting. He was just miscast in this role. I could have bought Willem Dafoe more than DiCaprio -- and that's just pulling a name out of the top of my hat! The cinematography was excellent. There were many good actors, and a number of my favorites, in this film. And sometimes the story is interesting despite the aggravations. I liked what I learned new about Hughes, and now I want to read more about him. I know I'll get a better sense from books though! And finally, I only want to watch a 3-hour movie when it is really great. This movie didn't warrant 3 hours to me. Ghandi, yes; The Aviator, no.
I love this movie
I love a movie that will capture me from the beginning and never let go. This movie was like that for me. This is the movie that made me a fan of TIM ROTH. He is fascinating to watch, and the character he plays is fascinating to watch.
The movie goes into the psychology of each of the lead players, and I found myself collecting ever more answers -- with always a few more questions with each answer.
It's not one of those kinds of films that tries to make sure you know the answer to anything -- yet lets you see most everything -- and still find yourself wondering. It's got little action, yet is continually stimulating and thought-provoking, interesting and fun to watch.
I've seen this movie more than once and it's one of those rare films I know I will enjoy watching again and again -- and I think that every time I watch it I have new answers -- and new questions. Anyone interested in psychology will love this film. The acting are all excellent, the cinematography wonderfully mood-setting, the direction superb. I gave it 10 stars.