Reviews written by registered user
|6 reviews in total|
I went into this thinking that "Color Me Obsessed, a film about the
Replacements" which is made up completely of fan interviews, and
includes not one lick of music, was brilliant. A great way to show what
how a band can impact someone's life. I don't even like the
Replacements. But I love Bruce. And I love documentaries.
You obviously need a good director to pull something like this off. Such was not the case here. It was just, after a while, boring. There could have been more of a story. More structure. Instead, as someone else pointed out, it really was random clips.
Expected so much more.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Living one town away from Cheshire, I was actually looking forward to
watching this film. Discovering a new perspective on a horrible crime
that rocked our area. Instead I got a badly shot (really, how many tops
of buildings and rain puddles do we need to see?), lethargically paced,
There are no actual new interviews with Dr. Petit, the lone survivor of this horrible home invasion. No cops speak. (This despite the dropped hint that they waited much to long to enter the house. That the filmmakers could not get one city or state cop on camera to discuss this is just lazy filmmaking.) Prosecutor? Nope. One of the jurors? Not a chance. Okay, then what about the Komisarjevsky and Hayes, on death row? What would they have to say? Would they be remorseful? No idea, they're not interviewed.
Instead we mostly follow the parents and sister of Jennifer Hawke-Petit around. And while they are very nice people, and I feel such sympathy for their tragedy, they are not captivating subjects.
About the only worthwhile interview in the entire film was that of Hayes defense attorney Thomas Ullmann. He was captivating, sincere and informative. The complete opposite was Komisarjevsky's attorney Walter Bansley III. He sort of made you want to take a shower after listening to him speak. He was wonderfully clueless of Dr. Petit's pain. Perhaps if the filmmakers had interviewed just these two men and let them each tell one side of the story from two very different perspectives, THAT would have been a film worth watching. But the film we were given was not. (A little shocked that HBO would air such a mess. But then the ratings were guaranteed.) As for structure, there is none. The film meanders all over the place, from the night of, to puddles, to court, to lingering shots of the tops of buildings in New Haven. Most filmmakers know there's a three act structure in story-telling for a reason. And if you break it you better have a damn good reason. Shoddy filmmaking is not one of them. This is filmmaking 101 at its worst.
The information compiled in The Cheshire Murders would perhaps make a fine 30 minute short. But as a 2-hour film is was unforgivably boring. A Dateline special on NBC would have been better made.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I give it a 5 because it's a subject so close to my heart, but this
film is a mess. One short sequence after another, and just as you begin
to feel something for the animals/people involved, they cut to the next
segment. Nothing is allowed to develop. And when your best piece of
footage was shot by a high school kid, well, that pretty much says it
I so wanted to like this, but ended up walking away angry, not at the truly horrible facts presented in the film, but because the subject deserves SO much more, SO much better. And while I was never a huge fan of the film Shelter Dogs, that is the Citizen Kane of dog films compare to this.
In the mean time, here's the same info without having to sit though a mundane 75 minutes: support local shelters (not national animal organizations where your dollars go to large salaries), understand that ALL puppies in pet stores are from puppy mills, and ALWAYS adopt from shelters, and ALWAYS have your pet spayed or neutered. (I personally think we should have a law, everyone has the choice, your pet gets spayed or neutered, or you get spayed or neutered. It would be a much better world.)
I really don't know what movie these other 12 reviewers were watching
(or, as I might guess, they're friends of the filmmaker), but This
Wretched Life is, and I'm sorry to take the easy way out, a wretched
The acting is embarrassing. The story is all over the place, and makes little sense. The editing is like a textbook example of what not to do. Every special effect cliché seems to be thrown in for no effect. It's...just...bad. Like...really bad. Not even funny bad.
I'm sorry, I wanted to like it because it was a labor of love. But you gave me nothing to like.
I could write a litany of observations, meanings, and impressions of
LaBute's screen writing and directorial debut product, "In the Company
of Men" (ICM). I had seen the film a few years after it came out and,
to be honest with everyone, because of my habit to gloss over a lot of
things in years gone by, I really only extracted from the film what it
superficially displayed: hardened corporate men doing cruel things.
However, very recently I re-visited this film while it was making a
glorific return via cable TV and am now more cognizant of the
incredibly diverse layers of "psycho-dynamic dissection" one could
perform on the characters, especially the main ones, of this film.
Since then, I have written intently on various ICM message boards,
trying to sort and clarify the incredible amount of controversy and
confusion this film sometimes elicits. One thing is for sure: even
though this film has been billed in various circles as being a comedy,
nothing can be further from the truth. This piece is one of the purest
dramatic character studies set on film - truly a masterpiece.
Many people can easily be turned off, even repulsed, by the "frat-like" shenanigans the two lead male characters attempt to pull off in the film. However, if you can get past this most superficial perception of the film, you will find, in a stepwise fashion, progressively deeper insights of how human behavior is successively governed by innate human needs and emotions. Many themes and messages should be easily conjured by the viewer of ICM including, to name a few, corruption of power, psychological control and manipulation, and the accountability and culpability of human behavior. People could debate ad nauseum who the most evil character of the film was - and interestingly, in a very uncharacteristic-of-a-film way, all would be right. The main characters presented in ICM are certainly flawed in various ways and certainly some have lost any semblance of a "societally acceptable" moral compass. LaBute goes to great lengths to make no bones about this; in fact, perhaps the only criticism I have of this film is that at points some the acting is a tad "over-the-top" but, in retrospect, I see now why this was necessary. I hope that people that get to watch this film (and, in my humble opinion, I believe every adult should watch this film, no matter what station in life they're at) will ultimately use this dynamic presentation to discern, at the most basic levels, what the human interactions portrayed in this film are all about.
Biological needs and drives - preservation of the body by food and shelter facilitated by work and preservation of the individual genome facilitated by sexual relationships - are, in fact, the most powerful life forces on this planet (in front of the psycho-dynamic and socio-dynamic forces). Societally, we see intensely cruel and evil actions being perpetrated in this film which I'm sure most non-sociopathic people would agree are just that. However, let us not forget that at the most basic levels, humans are biological creatures that, on an individual basis priority, fervently work on self-preservation - whatever it takes. Sometimes, as portrayed in this film, this really involves extending beyond the bounds of what society would deem as morally and ethically acceptable. I guess this is probably what has laid the foundation in creating that very memorable, and, I believe in the particular instance of this film, very appropriate saying: "All's fair in love and war".
While I have seen and heard many comments about "A Few Good Men"
extolling its virtues while some point to its negative attributes
(which, by far, IMHO, are in the vast minority), the message this flick
tries to deliver, at its most banal level, is truly one for the ages.
Without going into any fine or even course details about the film -
suffice it to say that it deals with a search for the absolute truth in
a courtroom murder trial - the film to me triumphs in one very simple
way: how corruption through power can always be quite successfully
exposed and dealt with by the judicious application of human intellect
and logic. I propose that it be required viewing for all power-hungry
humans, especially in a "pecking-order" environment, like those
pursuing a military, medical, or business career. In fact, I believe to
be most effective, the number of times an individual is required to
watch it should increase in a directly proportionate manner with that
individual's promotion level and rate.
...And the truth will set you free!... but first, it'll tick you off!!!