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plot was fun,but this was EASILY the worst acted of any of the 200 plus episodes..and these were usually solid guest actors..bad accents,mugging for the camera,caricature instead of character..the series regular cast tried their best,but it came across as a middle school production..even the best of series has the occasional clunker,and this was one..guy stockwell in particular mugged with double takes and eyeball rolling more appropriate for the beverly hillbillies..director marks has to take most of the blame as these actors had no reputation for this..I also noticed that there seemed to be more incidental music than usual,and some rather insipid dialogue..meet me tonight..tonight? in the summer house..the summer house? LOL
really bad episode
1-it was highly unlikely the old man would be able to strangle a 40 year old ex-soldier.. 2-the storyline,and the motivations of all the characters,was VERY fuzzy. 3-hugh o'briens hat was laughably lame,not dashing. 4-if o'brien was considered to be a necessary witness,no judge would have allowed him to represent the defendent(conflict of interest). there were so many other inconsistencies..the police allowing a controversial war criminal to waste their time going to an amusement park,the judge allowing hugh to "kind of" object to a question,the defendent had OBVIOUSLY been struck by somebody,the police found him unconscious,etc etc etc..bad writing and directing for one of the best TV series ever..
No Country for Old Men (2007)
what you get out of it
some of the best art(music,sculpture,film,etc)occurs when the viewer/listener brings their own experience to the process,which allows different viewpoints..i don't mean liked it or disliked it,but how they feel about it or what they thought the artist was saying.. i felt that NCFOM was about the relentless and randomness of fate..moss didn't endanger himself because he stole the money,but because he went BACK to help the injured man..the man who stopped to help anton was killed,but the woman in the office who told anton off lived..moss's stubborn courage got himself and his wife killed,but the sheriff's keen sense of danger caused him to hesitate outside the motel door,and helped to save his life..anton is badly injured in the car accident,but our wishing for his death didn't happen because,as in real life,the bad guy does not always get whats coming to him..the boy giving his shirt to anton shows that evil is not easily recognized,and good people frequently enable it...really ggod movie,flaws and all..
King Kong (2005)
cne-2 asks us to cut the movie some slack,claiming the original was a "b" movie and jackson was paying it homage..first of all,the original was NOT a "b" movie..it was a major release that was trumpeted by the studio for months before its release,and it was the highest grossing film of 1933..as for jackson,any film with a $200 million budget and starring Oscar calibre actors shouldn't be able to hide behind "homage"(that was grindhouse's problem,spending 3 hours and $65 million to pay tribute to films that were 55 minutes long and cost less than $1 million)--and besides,jackson was re-making the 1976 film,not the 1933 film..in the original,ann was terrified of kong,her unconditional love was for jack.. in the next 2 silly,politically correct re-makes,ann seemed to be in love with the "oppressed" kong... jackson doesn't get that less is more..every extended cgi scene with insects and dinosaurs lessened the power and awe of the giant ape..every additional character and backstory deflected from jack,ann and denham..like cimino in heavens gate,he thought that the more he spent,and the longer his film,the more epic and important it would be.. long story short,black and brody were miscast,and kong re-iterated what lord of the rings hinted at:that jackson cant write or edit,he's all visuals
Death Sentence (2007)
violence for violence's sake
there have been some great films that have used violence to make a point and maintained excellence(pulp fiction,silence of the lambs and scarface,for example)..this movie has set the bar so low,you wonder why bacon and Goodman would bother..you expect gigantic plot holes and head-smacking unbelievabilty from Friday the 13th part 29 or Godzilla meets x-men,but i was not expecting it here.. a wealthy businessman's son is murdered,but the d.a. and the cops treat it like just another case..2 cops are murdered,and the police Don't tear the city apart to catch the obvious suspects..bacon's house is not cordoned off and protected as a crime scene after his family is shot..the murderous gang is neither arrested nor put under surveillance after bacon's family is threatened..despite no prior military or police background,bacon becomes adept at use of weapons and hand to hand fighting just because he's angry..he neither sends his family into hiding nor uses his financial resources to hire armed bodyguards,even though he knows the seriousness of the threat..the gang doesn't hear the gunfire on the garage roof and on and on and on..it wouldn't have taken much for the writer and director to tighten it up,but they just didn't care...so,why should we?
Der junge Törless (1966)
people should not be distracted about the specifics of the plot,or the tangential,secondary themes of cruelty/sexuality..schlondorf has made his metaphor clear and passionate..people in positions of power(due to talent,wealth,titles of authority,physical stregnth,etc)are not entitled to abuse others,no matter what their alleged justification;and people who witness such abuses and do nothing are worse than enablers, they are accomplices..the obvious association is with the Nazis,but this is a universal problem that could be likened to the Spanish inquisition,the salem witch trials,the torture of prisoners during the iraq war,the red scare hearings and countless others..my own feel is that torless is held up as someone who contributes mightily to this particular evil,but fools himself into thinking he's not involved..his final speech was a lame attempt to justify his conduct..the film may not have been entertaining,but it was thought-provoking
Darkness Falls (2003)
i'm OK with 75 minute running time,that was the norm for old school horror films..i'm OK with the plot holes,it IS a grade b flick,but i hate the laziness of the clichéd police who get a kick out of tormenting people who they believe to be disturbed(weak stereotype)and the equally careless casting of a much older actor to play what is supposed to be the 22 year old lead--had promise,but didn't deliver.some example of films that dealt with young actors and small town locations are LADY IN WHITE,CLOWNHOUSE and SILVER BULLET,all of which delivered realistic performers and realistic characters while maintainig a scary atmosphere..they had small budgets,but delivered big
Joe the King (1999)
brave and real
unsentimental--realistic--terribly sad..i'm surprised that whaley has not been given more chances to write and direct..there has been a slew of excellent films being made by actors such as FRAILTY by biil paxton,IN THE BEDROOM by todd fields and JOE THE KING..actors seem to have a great handle on getting inside believable characters and are able to transfer these skills as film-makers..in any case,this film shows us the terrible consequences of neglectful/abusive parents..it also shows the ironic consequences of un-informed actions..ethan hawke, as the guidance counselor,meant only the best for the boy,but wound up getting him arrested...val kilmer's character,as the abusive loser of a father,somehow managed to exhibit some humanity(great performance)
Manny's Orphans (1978)
don't like his accent?
the actor playing the priest is malachy mccourt,a rather famous irishman and i guess his accent is legit.i'm not sure where cunningham was going with some of his story lines==the girl disguised as a boy ogling the other boys in the shower seems a bit creepy--after his baseball movie,"here comes the tigers" and then this soccer movie,who'd have thought that mr.cunningham would make such a gory and rather nihilistic movie like "friday the 13th"?? still,i was impressed that a total unknown,at least in 1977,could get famous soccer players and a known celebrity like mccourt to appear in his film...not bad for an early effort and a low budget