Reviews written by registered user
|257 reviews in total|
Because of the subject matter, I was expecting an artless 'Made for TV'
cautionary tale on the subject of anorexia. But this is actually a
beautifully filmed, completely involving story about a 14 year old girl
who discovers an online site that promotes anorexia. Sadly there are
such sites on the internet, where anorexics and bulimics can chat with
each other, and "support" each others addictions. Annabelle starts to
unravel under the pressure of being class President, while maintaining
perfect grades. In fact, the girl seems to be obsessed with perfection,
and when her mother leaves her and her dad, who seems to have little
time for his daughter, Annabelle begins a dark and dangerous online
friendship with a girl named Aly. This girl runs a website that
promotes the slogan "Thinner is the Winner." Pushing such ideas as
"only empty is pure," and "not happy, not sad, just perfect," Annabelle
sees this as an alternate way to reach "perfection."
So what makes this movie miles better than some run-of-the-mill Lifetime TV movie? First off, the main actress, Karlee Roberts is mesmerizing as Belle; she has these huge, expressive eyes, and facial expressions that so perfectly translate all the terror and confusion in this girl's life. It's hard to take your eyes off her. She seems so frail that she might just break at any moment, but she continues her charade bravely, with this smile on her face that shows all the fear and confusion behind the mask. Also, the supporting cast is perfect as well; her friends and her boyfriend are all utterly believable as typical 14 year old kids. For once we have actors the same age as the roles they are playing, and not 18 year old's playing 14 year old's. For a film like this, using actors this young makes it so much more intense, and disturbing. Finally I have to mention the technical aspects. This movie is GORGEOUS. Shot in 2;35 widescreen, which is almost unheard of for a film like this, the director somehow achieves this amazing ethereal "glow" throughout the film. It looks like they used this 'vaseline-covered lens' technique that they used in movies from the 30's and 40's. Everything looks dreamy and has a gold tint. The wardrobe department even deserves a mention for the pretty clothes the girls are always wearing.
"Little Miss Perfect" at times borders on horror, when Belle begins to see herself as a kind of monster when she looks in the mirror. For some reason it reminds me of the film "Black Swan." There is even a shocking twist towards the conclusion that had my jaw on the floor. Anyway I'm so happy to have stumbled upon this powerful film, purely by accident. I absolutely recommend this for kids and parents of kids this age. I can't recall a better film on the subject of eating disorders.
I have seen other films of Teruo Ishii, including his torture films like "Orgies of Edo," which I liked immensely. This Yakuza genre film however, lacks the artistic merits of those other films. It also lacks a coherent or interesting story-line, offering only cheap and ugly gore effects. There are actually 3 stories told in one film, which is the same formula Ishii used for "Orgies of Edo." Unfortunately the stories were so insipid and uninteresting that I couldn't tell when the first one ended and the second began. This film really has nothing to offer, and it is the worst film of it's kind that I have seen. It is a waste of time.
Heavily influenced by the French New Wave in style, this is a sordid outing concerning a young ladies man, who is working as a pimp for a corrupt older woman, bringing her girls to use in her private sex shows. Incredibly stylish black and white photography elevate this film to art house status. Featuring an amazing late 60's jazz soundtrack, this strange film sometimes resembles early Godard, and it's dark, moody style at times brings to mind "Night of the Living Dead." Highly recommended for film buffs, and also for fans of late 60's 'Beat Jazz.' I was only able to find "The Bite" in an English dub, but even in this form, the movie retains it's haunting, hypnotic aura.
Loved it when I was a kid, not so much now. I find "The Lost Boys" hasn't aged so well, and what looked 'super-cool' once looks a bit cheesy today. The problem is it's trying to be two different kinds of films; a Gothic, somewhat erotic vampire tale, as well as a silly comedy geared for younger viewers. I think the comedy kills what could have been a classic horror movie. And even as a young teen I found the "Frog bothers" to be tiresome and dumb, and something to be endured until the vampire gang was on screen again. The movie does have it's merits however, including some great atmosphere and sets, such as the sunken hotel/vampire lair. Jason Patric is the very definition of cool, and what every boy aspired to be in the 1980's. Jamie Gertz was beautiful and mysterious as 'Starr' and Kiefer Sutherland has created one of the most sinister and unforgettable vampire villains in 'David.' I always wished director Joel Schumacher had just stayed with this darker tone throughout the film. But the jarring comedy makes for an uneven and unsatisfying viewing experience. Certain horror films that I loved as a child I still love now; films like "Cat People" (1982) and "The Hunger" have fared much better over time, but I suppose those films were geared towards an adult audience anyway. "The Lost Boys" is still worth a look..
There were apparently a lot of films from around this time, that were heavily influenced by the movie "Story of O," and "Autumn Born" is definitely one of them. A young and beautiful heiress is kidnapped, and taken to a strange "school of discipline," in an effort to torture her into relinquishing her inheritance, which includes control over a family empire, to her corrupt uncle. Dorothy Stratten is so stunningly beautiful that it is sometimes difficult to notice anything else. But "Autumn Born" is actually a bizarre, and atmospheric film, filled with some beautiful and surreal imagery. As someone else mentioned, this is a textbook study on the art of brainwashing, which some will consider very unpleasant subject matter. The heiress, Tara is subject to random whippings, and other sexual humiliation, as well as some real psychological torture. At one point she is raped by her captors, who she later wins over to her side, with her charm and innocence. When she starts to become unhinged, Stratten actually shows some competent acting skills; she is so much better in this film than I thought she would be. She had definite screen presence, and would surely have gone on to make more films, had her life not have been ended so soon. She had that same ethereal and innocent quality as Marilyn Monroe had on camera. "Autumn Born" is surely an odd film, as well as a fascinating late 70's time capsule, made even more interesting by the story around the film and the actress. It is a must-see for fans of cult cinema and erotic films from that period. It was also nice to see that there is actually very little nudity and sex on camera, which means that Miss Stratten wasn't really 'exploited' in the making of it. It is also interesting to note that "Autumn Born" is rated as a better film here, than the more well-known "Galaxina." Recommended, if you can actually find a copy..
Helmut Berger, leisure suits, Jamaica, the 70's..you know what you are in for. "Order To Kill" delivers all the style, the great music and atmosphere that we expect from this genre. Helmut is down in the tropics, an assassin targeted by other assassins. He's got a gorgeous, but emotionally messed up girl, who happens to be the possession of his arch rival. There are prostitutes and gangsters and espionage. And the only 70's figure that can match the coolness of Helmut Berger, is Fabio Testi who, sadly is not in "Order To Kill." Recommended for fans of the genre. I would love to find an original widescreen print because this movie contains some beautiful location photography as well. Also check out "Mad Dog Killer," also with Helmut..you won't be disappointed.
"Roma Drogata" is a disaster on every level. The film as aged terribly, where most Italian crime films from that era look better now than they did then. Tired story centers on the son of a wealthy family, who for some reason has plucked eyebrows more severe than Joan Crawford, and is wearing more makeup than a clown, who wants to get his hands on some hard drugs. He wants to throw a party and provide the party favors, so a bunch of ugly, drugged out hippies can hang out at his house and use him for drugs. Bud Cort, looking seedy and creepy is a drug pusher along with his girlfriend. There are some hallucination scenes which are hilariously dated and cheesy, and the rich boy's father is a rabid right winger who feels that all drug dealers, addicts, and thieves should be burned at the stake. And this features the worst soundtrack ever. The cheesy, dated songs made me nauseous. Complete drivel. It doesn't help that the cast is so damn unattractive either. Don't bother with this one. If you want to see a good drug-themed film from Italy, search out "Amore tossico." Now that is a well-made and serious film about the drug scene.
Wow, I find it hard to believe that THIS 19 minute piece of glossy, soft core garbage created such controversy in the UK. Basically this is 19 minutes of a "nun" who looks like an 80's hooker, writhing around on the floor to cheesy, awful 80's synth music. Then she has a lesbian coupling with another bimbo, then she bangs a dude who is supposed to be Jesus, but looks more like the singer in an alternative band. Laughably bad and dated, with not a word of dialogue. It's not even artistic. no more so than you will see in a late night cable production, or Playboy TV. A big waste of time..at 19 minutes this is too long.
Here it is, the movie that inspired Bryan DePalma's "Scarface," and when you see "L'ambizioso" you will recognize it immediately. The story is the same, changing only the locales. Aldo, played by cult actor Joe Dallesandro in possibly his biggest role, is a New York born, small time criminal, who comes to Naples to make a name for himself. He goes from a small time gig of hawking black market cigarettes, and methodically claws his way to the top of the criminal underworld, after being betrayed by a colleague. The story arc is the same as DePalma's iconic film, which came a decade later. Filled with action, bloody shootouts, and searing drama, this is one epic movie. Little-known director Pasquale Squitieri made a series of these gangster movies, and they are all brilliant. This guy really knew his stuff. He seemed to have an understanding for bad guys as he tells the story always from their point of view. and he makes us sympathize with them, and even have immense respect for them. Which is why these movies might not be appropriate for young, impressionable minds. For fans of crime cinema and Italian mafia films, "L'ambizioso" is required viewing, and is worth tracking down.
This is one strange piece of exploitation, which is probably why it is so obscure. We have a gang of over privileged teens, led by one extremely over privileged sociopath named Marco, who's father is a completely amoral industrialist who seems to get off on his son's nihilistic behavior. This baby faced gang leader, Marco, rules his crew in a clubhouse decorated with WWII Nazi flags and photos of Hitler. Obsessed with far right politics, Marco seems to hate everyone who is different from him. He also hates women, and I lost count of how many females get raped and beaten in this twisted exploitation gem. This one is pretty twisted, but it never fails to fascinate. Has a similar tone to "Clockwork Orange," as the kids are committing acts of violence just for the thrill of it. They go from one victim to the next, never showing a thread of remorse. The cast is very good looking, and there is no shortage of nudity and sex throughout. This is actually an interesting study of how one person can control and earn respect from his peers, simply by being vicious. Obviously this film isn't for all tastes, but for exploit connoisseurs, and fans of the Italian 'Poliziatti' genre, "I ragazzi della Roma violente" is worth tracking down.
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