Reviews written by registered user
|16 reviews in total|
"As Good As It Gets" does not take the standard romance/comedy approach
as it is almost a drama; very thoughtful and puts value on developed
characterization. However, it occasionally drops down to the standard
romance/comedy level. It is flawed by clichés and some cheesy and
kitschy scenes. Parts of the movie are very funny (favorite line is
when Melvin introduces Carol to Simon: "Carol the waitress, Simon the
fag") and Jack Nicholson's performance is great.
It's a good comedy and is worth watching. The IMDb-rating is a bit too high. If you expect to watch a movie that deserves a score of almost 8, you might be disappointed. If you expect a standard chick flick this movie will surprise you in a positive way.
Better than standard comedy/romance --- funny!
*** 6.0/10 ***
"Cape Fear" is a suspenseful movie with a good set-up: Max Cady (Robert
de Niro) has just been released from jail after doing time (14 years)
for rape/sexual assault. He leaves prison with a vengeance. He wants
his defense counselor Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte) to "learn about loss."
Bowden did not defend him as good as he could have. He held back some
evidence that might have lowered the punishment of his client because
he saw what Cady did to the victim and wanted him to pay for it.
The movie is always interesting and suspenseful. It even raises political questions and makes you think about law and justice.
Robert de Niro is one of my favorite actors if not my favorite. I think he gave a good performance once again. The scene in which he is on the phone talking to the girl while he is hanging from the ceiling doing some work out; the look on his face is ultimately disturbing. "Cape Fear" overall is very disturbing. I like those movies and I like "Cape Fear" but I find it to be flawed. The dialogs and the actions of the characters are over the top. Cady always says things about God and Hell and he preaches; I already thought that this was overdone in "The Night Of The Hunter" to which this is a reference. We get it, Cady; you don't need to tell us about God in every sentence.
Suspenseful but flawed thriller.
*** 7.0/10 ****
"Dead Birds" is one of the most stupid movies I have ever seen. On
Halloween some friends of mine just went to rent a random horror flick,
a blind pick. It turned out to be a very bad idea. We watched the whole
movie, it was not even dead boring but it was entertaining for the
wrong reasons. This movie is more laughable than scary. It contains
almost every horror movie cliché there is (the house where they should
not be at; a thunderstorm; people acting stupidly, people saying "I'll
be back in a minute, I'll go outside real quick" or some stuff like
that before they are killed).
"Dead Birds" does have some scares but they are all cheap: They're walking through a corn field when all the sudden some creature attacks them. You're scared for three seconds at the most. All the other scares; you see them from a mile away.
The characters are not exactly likable. The title...well I don't understand it. Don't know if it has anything to do with the film. The Civil War setting (probably only chosen because the writers did not find another reason why they would not have left the house other than the one they present, which is not possible when setting the movie in the present era), the Civil War setting is about the only original thing about this movie that copies from almost every once original horror flick.
The movie starts out like a gory western and then turns into a slow horror flick. There is not a single good idea. In the ending scene, there are two decent turns.---Spoilers begin (not really much to spoil though): When running through a corn field as they want to leave the house. One of the two people who are still alive accidentally shoots the other (his girlfriend) as he mistakes her for one of these weird creatures. This does not happen to unexpectedly though. Reminded me somewhat of the "The Night of The Living Dead" ending. The other turn at the end implies that the story repeats itself over and over again (Reminded me a lot of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre") as a new group roams the corn field and is attacked by the only surviver who has meanwhile turned into a monster. He did so because of some curse. I'll just spare you on that. Plain ridiculous.
If you don't know what movie to rent and risk a blind pick and happen to end up with this one...true horror.
* 2/10 *
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Max is a former judge who became a cop after he had to turn loose
criminals (due to a lack of evidence) of whom he knew that they
committed the crime. He is obsessed with catching criminals red-handed.
He also wants recognition or a promotion or something (don't remember)
so he decides to trick some petty thieves led by an old friend of him
into robbing a bank so he can catch them (weird understanding of
justice). He tricks them by starting a relationship with his old
friend's girlfriend Lilly who works as a prostitute. He poses as a rich
banker and encourages Lilly to think about her future. He hints at a
payroll that comes through his bank and knows that she would go to her
boyfriend saying that she doesn't want to go on like that and talk him
into robbing the bank. The plot works, the petty thieves decide to rob
the bank and as they do the cops are in place.
While this movie is a crime movie -parts of it are almost like a heist movie- it also has an almost philosophical touch to it and can easily be categorized as a drama. The development of the characters is good and the movie is always interesting.
However, since one knows in advance what is going to happen, one expects a giant twist. Of course this movie is out of the pre-Se7en/pre-Usual Suspects era, but still the ending is disappointing: Max is told by his boss (who knows that he set up the criminals) that another detective (who also knows) is going to not only charge those you actually robbed the bank but Lilly also. Max has fallen in love with Lilly who also has feeling for Max. Max goes to talk to the detective and because he would not change his mind, he shoots him. This is unrealistic as Max has had time to think what he was going to do if he cannot convince the detective. However the movie implies that his decision is a spontaneous reaction to the detective's reluctance. Shooting him might solve part of the problem since no one else (besides the boss and he wouldn't tell) knows that Lilly was involved (even though there might be files or colleagues could know). But Max now has to face life in jail.
That's what I think he (as a former judge) should have come up with: (I'm not an expert on French law (the movie is set in Paris) but I assume that entrapment is illegal in every democratic country.) Max could have just said that he entrapped them to rob the bank. That he not just hoped that they would come up with the idea of robbing that bank but that he actually told them to do so. You cannot be convicted for a crime that you would not have committed if the police had not entrapped you (at least in America). Lilly (and the criminals) would go free and he had to face some kind of punishment but not life in jail.
"Max et les ferrailleurs" is a movie with an interesting idea and good performances and it is certainly an above average film.
*** 6.5/10 ***
This is the ultimate zombie movie. I watched it in 2006; that is almost
40 years after it was made and this movie still shocked me. It is
disturbing and scary. The basic idea is not new (not even back then)
but this movie is better than all the other zombie films I have seen.
It is a very simple idea but the filmmakers really push the envelope.
It contains shocking scenes, gory scenes, dramatic scenes, great
characterizations and suspense.
NOFLD has a perfect ending. I expected it to end the way it does but that does not give me the feeling that the movie is predictable but rather that it delivered everything I hoped for. I got the ending which I hoped for!
One of the best horror films ever! A must-see!
**** 8/10 ****
"Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" is one of the
best "light entertainment" movies I have ever seen. It is entertaining
and that's its sole aim. It is funny and easily keeps you interested
and despite its long runtime (more than 2 hours) it is never boring.
"Pirates of the Caribbean" is a very ironic movie which uses almost every pirate cliché there is. It parodies action movies with great self-mockery. Some lines and scenes are hilarious and the plot is creative. A very well written adventure, with twists and turns, and with memorable lines and characters. (love the theme music)
I loved the character of Captain Jack Sparrow played by Johnny Depp who gives a brilliant performance. Keira Knightley also does a fine job. However, I did not like Will Turner, the character played by Orlando Bloom. I'm not sure if it is Bloom's performance and the way he says his lines that annoys me or if it is the lines themselves that do. He has some really cheesy lines.
Funny and entertaining comedy/adventure movie. Honestly!
**** 8.0/10 ****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Ransom" is about a rich man with a slightly shady past (Mel Gibson)
whose child is kidnapped. Instead of paying the 2 million dollar ransom
(which he first intends), Mel Gibson's character decides to put a 2
million dollar (later raises that to 4 million) bounty reward on the
"Ransom" is an average movie, some suspenseful scenes but overall too predictable. Giving away that this movie will have a happy ending is not even a spoiler. One knows from the start. Not for a second can this movie make you believe that the boy will die.
But for a second I thought (hoped) that the corrupt cop who kidnapped the boy but then decided to collect the bounty reward by killing his accomplices and "freeing" the boy would get away with the money. I would like this ending way better: Mel Gibson's character gives the corrupt cop the reward. The FBI finds out that the cop was involved in the kidnapping but since he left the country he gets away with the 4 million dollars.
This movie is also not very realistic as some actions are not credible: The FBI shooting one of the kidnappers in the ransom pickup is unrealistic in that situation and would be a huge threat to the life of the boy as is Mel Gibson's refuse to pay the two million, not to mention the threat the bounty reward poses to his son.
Mel Gibson's character's wife thinks that the actions of his husband are wrong and there is tension between them as she tries to somehow get 2 million (she does not) and pay the ransom without telling her husband. A second sub-plot deals with Mel Gibson's illegal business stuff about which the FBI knows. Both sub-plot are fine but not done as good as they could have been.
In the ending scene, Ron Howard uses slow-motion in an "action" sequence. It looks really ridiculous. I hate this ending. Gibson could have at least shot the villain but no. As the cops want to arrest Gibson because he carries a gun that he pointed at the villain (whom the police shoots as he reaches for a gun), one of the FBI agents jumps in between and saves him from being arrested. It made me laugh...don't think that was intended. At the end the family is united and wife and husband seem to have forgiven one another after the kidnapping had almost tore apart their relationship.
The directing is rather poor and the script is bad because the basic story line could have worked (with a different ending). Mel Gibson's performance was weak. He fails to make his character and thus the whole movie believable.
I cannot recommend this movie. It has a some good parts but, overall, it is predictable and unbelievable. Plus it has a stupid ending (think I already mentioned that)
** 5.0/10 **
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The famous British mystery author Sarah Mortan seeks inspiration at her
publisher's vacation house in France. The quiet is gone once a person
(Julie) who claims to be the publisher's daughter arrives. The two are
complete opposite and don't get along very well but then Sarah realizes
that Julie is good inspiration for the book she wants to write. Julie
is a party girl whose sex life consists of one-night stands with
middle-aged men. Sarah after a while is not bothered anymore by Julie's
behavior and also "loosens up". The competition of personalities which
had always been between the two women becomes sexual when a local
waiter is involved. After a night of flirting between these three, in
which Julie is ousted by Sarah, Julie murders the waiter and Sarah
suddenly becomes the young girl's only friend and protector and she
helps her dispose the body. As the gardener is about to discover the
dead body, Sarah distracts him by taking off her clothes. The two have
sex. (quite bizarre). Back in London, Sarah meets Julia, the only
daughter of her publisher. Julia is very different from Julie and the
two seem to have met before.
There is one shot that implies that Julie only exists in Sarah's imagination and almost none of the events in the movie actually happened. The events described are the subject of Sarah's next book. The movie misleads the audience and plays with it. The ending is quite smart and interesting, however, the first hour or so is so boring that you don't really care about the ending and might even miss the twist because you don't pay close attention anymore or are already asleep. Plus it is not really relevant if it actually happened or not. Saying: "But none of it actually happened, she made it all up" does not compensate for the lack of suspense. It's not that great of an idea.
Slow erotic thriller/drama that did not live up to what it could have been.
*** 6.0/10 **
I watched "The African Queen" after I read it was on the Top 250. I
have never been so disappointed by a movie off the Top 250-list before.
The plot is totally unbelievable and predictable. I know it is based on a true story (very loosely I assume) but the script is just awful. It seems really unrealistic.
The love story is highly unbelievable and cheesy. The action sequences are horribly dated. I know that this movie is from the 50's but the "special effects" are hilariously bad. Catherine Hepburn's character is annoying from the first second on. Whatever she says (example: "Mister Allnut?!"; she says that at the beginning of every sentence...just annoying and stupid since there was no other person than him on the boat) or does (e.g.: with the booze). She plays one of the least likable characters in the history of cinema. The idea she comes up with, which is the idea of the whole movie, wow, just plain ridiculous. This movie sucks big time.
Uninteresting movie about a man and a woman, both without metabolism, going on a boat trip to attack a battleship with their small boat.
* 4/10 *
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Deep End" is a psychological thriller about a kid, Beau, who
apparently killed his boyfriend (Reese) and about his caring mother
Margaret covering up the deed. Margaret, who lives with his son and her
other kids in a house on Tahoe lake, wanted Reese to stay away from his
son. After Margaret heard the boys fight earlier on, she finds the dead
body and without ever talking to Beau about it, she disposes the body
in broad daylight using her boat's anchor to weigh the body down in the
water. She wants to protect her son. Many reviewers complained about
the fact that she should have at least spoke to Beau about it but I
find this not unrealistic and like this use of unconditional love. The
movie takes a promising start.
Back to the plot: A few days later a guy (Alek) shows up at their house and blackmails Margaret. He wants her to pay $50.000 and threatens to hand a videotape to the police who have found Reese's body in the meantime. The tape shows Beau and Reese having sex. Maragret tries to somehow get the $50.000.
Now comes the part of the movie that I found really annoying and stupid. She cannot tell her children anything about the blackmail so she has to keep doing her maternal duties while she desperately tries to get the money. Margaret explains to Alex why she does not have the money yet and their dialog is really laughable:
Margaret Hall: We don't have the money. Alek 'Al' Spera: You have to get the money. Is that not clear enough? MH: It's $50,000. It is not the kind of thing that everyone can just go out and get. Alek: Have you spoken with your husband? M: He can't be reached. He's on a carrier somewhere in the nor - This is truly none of your business. Alek: What about the old man? Well, you have to try harder. M: "Try harder?" Alek: I don't think you're really trying. M: Really? Alek: Yes. Margaret Hall: Well, maybe you should explain "really trying" to me, Mr. Spera. Tell me - how would you be "really trying" if you were me? But you're not me, are you? You don't have my petty concerns to clutter your life and keep you from trying. You don't have three kids to feed, or worry about the future of a 17-year-old boy who nearly got himself killed driving back from some kind of a nightclub with his 30-year-old friend sitting drunk in the seat beside him. No, these are not your concerns. I see that. But perhaps you're right, Mr. Spera. Perhaps I could be trying a little harder. Maybe sometime tomorrow between dropping Dylan at baseball practice and picking up my father-in-law from the hospital, I might find a way to try a little harder. Maybe I should take a page from your book: go to the track, find a card game. Maybe I should blackmail someone. Or maybe you have another idea. I mean, maybe you have a better idea of how I might try a little harder to find this $50,000 you've come here to steal from me. Alek: You're right. I'm not you. I don't - This is only a business opportunity. That's all.
Just the typical conversation between blackmailer and the person whom he blackmails. Happens all the time. But Alek turns out to actually be a really nice guy and the two fall in love. Alek does not want his part of the money anymore and tries to convince his boss to give Margaret more time to get the boss' $25.000. This turn is laughably ridiculous.
Him falling for her is really unrealistic. There really is not a lot of tension and the police is underused. They never show up at her house again after they briefly asked if she knew anything about an anchor. She says their boat has no anchor; the cops leave.
In the end, Alek sacrifices himself by driving off a cliff as he is driving with his boss. Magaret who was following the two takes the videotape out of the wrecked car and as she is reaching for it her lips touch Alek's lips. Alek and his boss die.
It turns out that Beau did not know anything about Reese's death which turned out to have been an accident. Beau and Reese had an argument outside Beau's house. Beau told Reese to leave and went back inside before drunken Reese fell into an anchor and died.
Seems like a missed opportunity as the story really has some potential.
** 5.0/10 **
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