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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Should have been titled WTF because half the plot is missing ... but it was visually appealing and the cast was excellent, 31 August 2008

Excellent casting choices. Michelle Yeoh is awesome, and the audience loved seeing a woman in her forties kick butt and look as good as she did (and does) doing it. Same with Vin Diesel. Maturity suits him well, and the older he gets, the better he looks. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would love to see these two team up in an action movie.

This could have been superb. I wanted it to be superb. I have been looking forward to this movie for months. It could have been the next Blade Runner.

I have a hard time believing that anyone on the creative end of this film is happy with the finished product because half of the plot is literally missing. Without giving anything away, the movie completely lacks any set-up, backstory and then wraps up in less than three minutes with absolutely no explanation of how the characters came to the ending. It wasn't even a flash-forward. It's as if someone spliced out huge chunks of the movie and hoped the audience wouldn't notice.

Let's hope the director's cut DVD has the rest of the plot on it.

Strays (1997)
19 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
Another great movie with unexpected depth that practically no one will see., 21 January 2008

Vin Diesel. He can write, he can direct, and he can act. The movie is a macho man version of a chick flick, and he and a great supporting cast (Joey Dedio in particular) completely pull it off.

Do yourself a favor and read the children's book "The Story of Ferdinand" before you see this movie. It will take all of 5 minutes.

Rick, the main character, has a huge drawing of Ferdinand on the wall of his Bank St. apartment, and the book has had a significant impact on his life (besides the fact that an illustrated bull has been just about the only male role model he has ever had). If you don't know the story, you won't see the (rather obvious) parallels between Ferdinand and Rick, such as: what you look like on the outside doesn't always translate into what you are like on the inside, "life is a matador" and we all know what happens to the bull if he takes the bait and fights, just because you are a bull doesn't mean you have to act like one, and if you make the right choices and stay true to yourself, you can survive and ultimately be happy.

The dialogue between Rick and his posse rings so true that it comes across as unscripted. It's completely natural, as is the acting. The cast genuinely makes you forget that you are watching a movie. Some of the uncensored conversations his friends have amongst themselves are downright hilarious and truthful at the same time. I was genuinely surprised to learn that some of the male cast members had not known each other before auditioning for this movie. The bond between them came across as genuine.

Stereotypes abound, but each and every one is someone most people can relate to knowing or having known. The acting is so good that you forget they are indeed acting and begin to wonder exactly how much of this was drawn from real experiences and conversations. Rick is hot, broke, street-smart and sought after by women who think that getting him into their body will somehow get them into his heart in return. The only problem is that Rick has begun to mature and change, and he is gradually becoming aware of the fact that his life has no real meaning. He has taken care of his body but not his spirit. He desperately wants to show who he really is on the inside, and watching him take each uncertain step towards that goal is poignant.

The blank looks that two of Rick's friend's (Joey Dedio and Valentino Morales) give him when he explodes after hearing them laugh over something truly reprehensible that one has done to his girl, and the pivotal self-realization that Rick experiences as a result of witnessing the callous and clueless responses of his friends is painful to watch, as it should be. Rick, while gradually introspective, is clearly not fully prepared for the regrets and emotional upheaval that true self-examination brings.

Watching Rick make choices that go against everything he (and his life so far) have conditioned him into believing are all that matters combined with the realization that he truly is all on his own, is touching without being sappy. The true extent of his vulnerability becomes apparent in a scene where one of his friends brings up a conversation he and his mother had about Rick. Rick's eyes and face express just how troubled he is over an unresolved situation with his own mother, and it becomes clear to him how this has immobilized him in other areas of his life. He conveys all of this without speaking a single word.

Watching Vin Diesel emote is something most people aren't used to, but he does do it well. Witnessing Rick slowly but surely allow himself to become increasingly emotionally vulnerable and hopeful of the possibilities that may result from doing so, even with an unsure outcome, is moving.

The movie's low budget works entirely in its favor as far as realism goes. Shot entirely on location, everything from Rick's apartment with the bathroom in the hallway to the street scenes around the Bank/11th/Hudson/Bleeker area along with all the West Village locations is a real visual treat. It's Rick's life, and not all prettied up Hollywood style. Rick is a small-time drug dealer, and he doesn't have an unrealistic seven grand a month "Friends" style apartment. Everything on-screen is authentic and real.

I loved it.

194 out of 273 people found the following review useful:
Saw an advance screening and actually enjoyed it!, 18 January 2008

and that's saying a lot since I'm not a "romantic comedy" kind of gal.

The little girl is fabulous. Good casting. She's adorable without being perfect. Kevin Kline was an absolute delight as an unapologetic drunken writer/professor who also happens to be quite full of himself. Rachel Weisz (whom I normally do not care for) was completely (and unexpectedly) charming. Ryan Reynolds was also a good casting choice. Unexpectedly believable as a dad.

The bulk of the movie is him explaining to his daughter, bedtime story style (told entirely in flashbacks) about love and how he met her mother, with her being the proverbial "happy ending". Except ... she seems to be the only one who notices that her Dad really isn't happy at all. Isla Fisher also shines. Watching her character grow from someone who is completely devoid of any direction or purpose into a real woman, complete with self-esteem, was a nice touch.

Loved the relationship stories. It's amazing what you don't see when you are in a relationship, only to come to a realization much later. Anyone who has ever traded a trip on the QEII for a proverbial three hour tour on the S.S. Minnow relationship-wise will totally relate.

The fact that Ryan Reynolds sometimes gets so carried away with the story that he forgets he is talking to a little girl leads to a few (ok, so it's a lot) contrived chuckles along with a couple of genuinely funny moments.

It's not going to win an Oscar or break a box office record, but if you want a completely enjoyable two hour escape ... see this movie.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
I absolutely LOVED this show!, 23 March 2007

Interesting, fast-paced and amusing.

I'm not one of those people who watches loads and loads of television. I stumbled across this show while home sick with a bad case of the flu one day, and was immediately hooked. I developed quite a crush on John Burke. Both he and Claire did an amazing job of hosting the show together. You could really tell that they both loved their jobs.

The super-collector segments were excellent. I found myself interested in things I had never previously given a single thought to.

What I would really like to know is: Whatever happened to Jack the dog? Did one of the hosts adopt him?

129 out of 153 people found the following review useful:
I have to say that Vin Diesel isn't anything like I expected him to be in this role. He did an amazing job., 16 March 2006

I went to a screening in NYC this week, and Vin's performance knocked the socks off of everyone in attendance.

The physical transformation was astonishing. He gained a lot of weight for this role, and many of the people around me (myself included) did not recognize him when he first appeared on screen. While watching the film, I totally forgot that I was watching Vin Diesel. He really became the character for me.

Annabella Sciorra is another actor I will never look at the same way again. She had exactly one scene in the movie and I thought the screen was going to burst into flames or something. It was really that hot. She and Vin barely touched each other ... didn't even so much as kiss ... and I swear the entire audience needed a cigarette afterward.

The entire cast was first-rate. Every single one of them hit the ball out of the park, no exceptions.

The 2+ hours of running time went by like 15 minutes, and I sincerely did not want the movie to end.

There was a Q&A session after the screening, and Vin was humble, funny, personable and sometimes boyish in his interactions with the audience.

I wasn't a big Vin fan before this movie, but now I can't wait to see him in Hannibal. This guy isn't just an action star ... he's a very talented, dedicated and capable actor.