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25 reviews in total 
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Ménage à trois, 30 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I enjoyed the film itself, though deeply disturbed by the turn of the plot. The three of them falling into a Ménage à trois, seemed natural enough at the time, and obviously the sex was extraordinary for all three of them. But then Mickael goes psycho about it, and calls his girlfriend a slut! She is more realistic and existential about the fact that the sex was 1,000 times better than with just him alone. Mickael's puritanical backlash was so disappointing. Vanessa cannot get Mickael to admit that he enjoyed it.

I agree with some of the criticisms of the camera angles and film editing. It was not clear in the sex scene that Vanessa had sexual intercourse with Mickael as well as Clément, not until revealed later when Vanessa is discussing it with the school nurse. The scene is spontaneous, hot, and passionate - and leaves you wanting more!

But my disappointment is in the character of Mickael, and the outcome of the plot. It's a movie! It's just one plot of many possible. Well designed, well played - and when you find it disturbing, that is Art!

As many remarked, the film and situation are not "Gay" in the sense of homosexual attraction. But it is "Gay" in the sense of the Ménage à trois being a "Non-traditional relationship." Although this film is about Adolescents, the immaturity of Mickael can occur in most older people too. I have searched chat rooms for years, trying to find examples of people who have managed polyamorous relationships without jealousy or abuse. Even in fiction, it is usually treated as a transitory state with tragic endings. (See "Jules et Jim", "Cabaret") I still believe in the Possible!

16 to Life (2009)
7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A Kiss for Kate, 9 September 2010

A wonderful coming of age comedy that shows Hallee Hirsh is ready to move from Child Supporting Roles to Leading Lady. Trapped in her innocence as well as her Ice Cream Stand for her 16th birthday, Kate (played by Hallee Hirsh), interacts with co-workers and customers who seem to conspire to make her 16th birthday miserable This is Iowa! Trains, River Barges, and Combines move on past as young people feel trapped in small places and small roles. Small town life and characters are no match for the adventures Kate has read about from the Holocaust to the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

The story as written and directed by Becky Smith is comprised of many short funny scenes that could stand on their own, but weave an image of small town Iowa for a girl who is ready to grow up and grow out of her confinement.

I was lucky to get Ticket #1 to this sold out performance in Cedar Rapids, with Special Guests Becky Smith, Hallee Hirsh, Ryan Gourley, Nicholas Downs, and Vaughn Halyard. Becky and Hallee autographed my copies of their IMDb Film Credits. Let's make MORE Movies in IOWA! But for Now - kudos to Hallee - and a well deserved Kiss for Kate!

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Love is Not Obscene!, 2 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So why is this Movie Rated 'R'? Is it Love? Inconvenient Love? The Passion one tries to ignore and resist when they've just married their 'Best Friend'? The guilt, that tears one apart, when one's partner is kind and deserving, but a secret desire becomes overwhelming?

Is it the Obscenely Beautiful Piper Parabo who could be so desirable to both a man and a woman? No Nudity, a couple of 'F' Words in anger. (from a Grandmother!) Maybe it's that the only Passionate Kiss is between two Women! This movie should be REQUIRED for Teenagers, not banned from them.

Even if you think you Know yourself and your Orientation, and have never been tempted to cross-over before, you can't discount the Societal and Family Pressure to do the 'Normal' thing - Marry a nice successful person of opposite gender and start procreating. The movie even features one philandering heterosexual, who will probably never 'Commit'. Now that could be Obscene. But instead, becomes powerful contrast to the purity of unconsummated Love!

Love can be Inconvenient, can have Innocent Collateral Damage. It's a Powerful Force. But Love is NOT Obscene!

2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Really Adult Role for Amber Tamblyn, 13 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yes, I rented this Video to see the developing talent of Amber Tamblyn. I own copies of her two Seasons as 'Joan of Arcadia', Watched her with 3 other Young Co-Stars who have all had their own TV Series in the Two Movies of 'Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants'. Even watched the painfully trivial 'Spring Breakdown', where she is still a Girl dealing with over-protective but well meaning Adults.

Finally! Amber Tamblyn gets a truly grown-up role as an Assistant DA, torn between her Boss, Mark Hunter, played by Michael Douglas - and a Scheming Investigative Reporter who Plays Her;(Irresistible Pun). The Reporter, C.J. Nicholas is played by Jesse Metcalf. Of course Amber, as Ella Crystal, falls in love, and in bed with Nicholas, and falls for his proof of innocence as well.

All unravels when her keen eye discovers one piece of evidence that reveals more than one lie, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.

Nobel Son (2007)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Is it Psycho Drama, or Psychodrama?, 1 January 2010

What an amazing cast of performers with familiar past credits, Danny DeVito, Mary Steenbergen, Alan Rickman, Ted Danson, and Eliza Dushku! But put together in amazing chemistry with young men Bryan Greenberg and Shawn Hatosy.

Rickman, most familiar as Professor Snape from Harry Potter, is even less lovable in this character as a Nobel Prize winning Chemistry Professor, Eli Michaelson. Steenbergen, who has played an understanding mother in 'Joan of Arcadia' is born for this role of Psychology PhD / Detective / Loving Mother and Tolerant Wife of the philandering Professor. Danny DeVito goes beyond the Comedy roles you've seen from him before to be a sad little recovering mental patient, still struggling with his OCD.

Who's the biggest Psycho? Is it the Professor's son Barkley, working on a PhD in Cannibalism? Is it the scheming criminally insane Illegitimate Son Thaddeus? Or is it really the lovely Eliza Dushku playing Poet/Artist/Easy Lover named City Hall? The Plot is as twisted as the characters. But don't shy away from the early gruesomeness or you will miss a truly great Psychodrama. Or was that Psycho Drama?

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Gross Disappointment, 30 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Hangover is one of 5 Nominees for the Golden Globe 'Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy.' I don't see how this could make it to #5 out of 5! Heather Graham as an Escort is the sweetest thing to come out of this movie - really, her character is sweet, bright and charming, unlike anything else herein. Don't expect this one to make the Oscar short list.

There is some mildly funny original music, as the Dentist sits down to a piano and sings "Stu's Song" - a summary of the plot thus far. Familiar tunes are tritely placed, and the Wedding Singer is as gross as the rest of the plot.

Violence, Pain, Property Destruction, Deceptive Abusive Relationships, Injuries, Drug Abuse, Vulgarity in front of Children, Throwing Money around like it doesn't matter, Trashing a Hotel Room and Automobiles - these things make me uncomfortable, not amused.

My idea of Fun is something I Can Remember and Want to Remember., I'm hoping I DON'T Remember any more of this Film.

27 out of 37 people found the following review useful:
Young Talent, 14 March 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm glad I saw this movie before reading any of the other Comments here on IMDb! As a 63 yr old man, I see at least 4 good movies per week, and a few bad ones.

I was drawn to this movie by AnnaSophia Robb, and hope to continue to see everything she does. As one who fell in love with her in "Bridge to Terabithia", and thrilled with her acting but not so much her bratty Character in "Sleepwalking", I wanted to see her alive and well and thriving. Hey, in this movie she is all that and more, she even has adorable Superpowers! (I went to theater to see her in "Jumper" but she's only in the first few minutes.) This is the first movie I've seen with Alexander Ludwig, playing Brother, Seth to AnnaSophia's Sara. He was brilliant in the part, and I hope to see him again, with or without his superpowers.

It was a pleasant surprise to see, even if in a minor role for Chris Marquette as Pope. Chris played Adam in the "Joan of Arcadia" TV Series. He played slightly flawed but ever lovable character, and not that different here as a Government Rookie. I'm always pleased to follow any of the cast from that show.

I was not drawn to see Dwayne Johnson, but as Jack Bruno, he brings a strong balance to the young players. Garry Marshall, Carla Gugino, and others bring a wealth of credits to the table and are a credit to their parts. And Why is Cheech Marin as the Reluctant Mechanic Uncredited?

I have to mention the amusing and entertaining irony of having our real Space Aliens at a UFO Convention full of crazy looking caricatures of other favorite Sci-Fi Movies and UFO Psychos! I didn't care if this was a remake, or copies of other characters, or whether the special effects were perfect or believable. After a steady diet of heavy Academy Award nominated movies for the last 6 weeks, I gave this movie a 10 for pure absorbing entertainment and a fabulous showcase for the developing young talent.

1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Intelligent Humor, 19 August 2008

Scarlett Johansson doesn't rip my heart out with emotion in this film like she did in 'A Love Song for Bobby Long', or 'Girl with a Pearl Earring', but it's not that kind of movie. I have now seen 12 of her movies, and this is one of 3 that I rented for this week. The premise that her character is treating her Nanny stint as Anthropology research works for me. Having studied Anthropology and some related socio/psychology fields in college, I subscribe to the concept that we all live in social systems. The New York Upper Eastside, may have it's own quirks, eccentricities, and blind sides, but so does every other Human Social System. The writers have compiled believable characters from actual experience as New York City Nannies, and formulated them and themselves into an interesting and amusing drama.

This may not be the Funniest Comedy or the most Emotional Drama that I have seen of Scarlett Johansson, but it was entertaining while intellectually stimulating. I love Scarlett in everything she has done, even tho some roles and some movies are not over the top, her performance and amazing beauty always are. From 'The Horse Whisperer' to 'The Other Boleyn Girl' I have committed myself to see every movie she has ever done.

Wide Awake (1998)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Classic Shyamalan!, 21 July 2008

I got to see this movie this weekend. I had to BUY a copy to get this one, and I Loved it. Maybe I have been slow to get into M. Night Shyamalan movies. I saw "Sixth Sense" and "Lady in the Water" close to when they came out. Then after "The Happening" I decided I had to see ALL of his Movies in the last couple of weeks. I'm glad I saw most of his works and some DVD Extras before I saw this one. If it had come out AFTER some of his better grossing movies, this might have been appreciated as one of his best ever! (Following "Sixth Sense" and "Signs" anyway.) I feel that this movie may be a bit Autobiographical, and would love to confirm that with something more than Movie Trivia correlations. I can't believe this early in his Movie Making he gets Rosie O'Donnell, Camryn Manheim, and Julia Stiles to play supporting Roles! This is the same guy who gets Kids into Roles BEFORE They get Oscars!

Shyamalan's works are always more than one layer of meaning, as might be hinted in double entendre of the Titles. I see Josh's search for God, not as a doubt of his faith, but as the first search for the meaning of the faith he saw in his Grandfather.

There are so many reason's I loved this film besides the obvious art of Writing / Directing of Shyamalan and this wonderful Supporting Cast that I mentioned above.

The hints as to Shyamalan's personal history? The fact that the character Josh has both parents as Doctors; Josh at an Early Age seeking more Meaning in Life than his peers; Josh in a Parochial School. I'm sure there's more I missed, and will view again when I am more Wide Awake.

Stardust (2007)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Are Stars watching Oscar or Oscar watching the Stars?, 25 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If this film isn't worthy of a few Oscar nominations, we are in for an incredible Fall Season! I had a hard time picking a movie to see yesterday. I had already seen most of the big hype cinema, and some genre's just didn't appeal to me. So I picked Stardust, knowing only what I could read on about the first page of IMDb. A few big names in Supporting Roles, Adventure / Fantasy / Romance Genre, a setting bordering a magical realm, where a young man is going on a quest to prove himself to a pretty woman he pursues.

I was not prepared for the incredible impact of this movie. And still, what was it? There are familiar plot elements from many popular movies and fantasies. Kings, Princes, and Princess, Witches and Magic, Pirates, Ghosts, Transfigurations, Adventure and Love. But is a Story Line I had never heard of, well intertwined with Action, Comedy, Peril and Yearning.

Was it the Stellar Performances of Supporting Roles, like Michelle Pfeiffer, as Lamia, a desperate aging Witch losing her Youth and Beauty? Robert De Niro playing the Pirate Captain Shakespeare turned Fairy Godfather? Sienna Miller as the vain and fickle small town Victoria? Was it the Music that supports every scene, even with adaptation of the familiar Classical "Can Can"? Was it the Role or the Actress, as the Beautiful and Talented Claire Danes, a real "Star" named Yvaine, teaches us the difference between Love and a Crush. Or watching Charlie Cox go from Awkward Young Suitor, to becoming a Man as Tristan?

What I discovered here is something far more important than watching Actors on a Stage, or a Story Line with Action and Plot Elements that can thrill us, Comic Relief that can amuse us. It's not what the Characters Feel and how well the Actors perform it. The measure of a Great Movie, is how it can make the Audience Feel. This Movie brought me along into it's magical kingdom, Anxious in Perils, and Yearning for True Love.

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