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Analyze That (2002)
What do your voters want! To give this hilarious brave depiction of organized crime with a dream cast and script such a low rating makes me think they've designated "dumpers" for films on this site. Not "Godfather" viewers. A prerequisite, I'd say.
God! Robert De Niro as a funny gangster. I love it. How very cool, a spoof of the Godfather. I hesitate to go into the story line but want to tell the writer and director this is my idea of great entertainment. Unfortunately, we film production outsiders can't always relate to the humor of recent gangster films because we are not steeped in those that have impacted formidably before. Perhaps a proviso. An admonition prior to the humorous take, that is, if the viewers haven't seen Robert De Niro's or Francis Ford Copolla's films prior they should go rent them first THEN see this spin.
I feel I owe a debt of gratitude to Martin Scorsese for making this extraordinary film. Especially in light of it's controversial content. Here is a story that must be told and is so remarkably entertaining while being so deeply informative that I hesitate to make any comments at all. Why why why has this director NOT received the recognition he so richly deserves for his work, especially with this epic that out "performs" any epic extant, including the likes of "Cleopatra" "The Godfather" and so on. Are awards for honest brilliant work politically motivated? This film may be the watermark for all ambitious film makers in the future. Keep it real.
Meet Joe Black (1998)
Powerful and profound
Sir Anthony Hopkins AND Brad Pitt! Death takes a Holiday. not original but well worth a remake with these two formidable adversaries, that is lead actors. Wish the director didn't take himself so seriously, there could have been a lot more nuance in handling these two lead characters without all the takes. Why does every film have to fit a genre? "Legends of the Fall" indisputably on my all time top ten list notwithstanding, I would love to see these two really given the reigns to see where they want to go.
The rest of the luxurious cast and sets are well worth watching in themselves. Do people really spend that much making movies anymore?! Since I only rent DVD's and haven't seen the inside of a movie theater in decades, production costs must factor in my selections. Directors should never be one of the lead "players" unless they're Clint Eastwood.
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)
This sublime combination of Latin music, dancing and superb character development in a fascinating historical framework is one of the very very few movies I can watch over and over again. Loved Patrick Swayze the first time and ever since. Love this ensemble cast especially because Patrick makes the difference. Again. He even plays a sexy "Ghost" with Whoopie Goldberg! Diego Luna is someone I looked for in other movies after watching this one and so far, I think this is his best. May his career mature as well as Maestro Swayze's.
Let's see more of these characters in a sequel. Please. An update of the historical data would also be perspicacious. Bravo!
Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
Brilliant and Funny Action
If R. Rodrigez were to knock off one sequel to El Mariache per year, I would be one happy DVD watcher. Phenomenal state of the art action not to mention sexy and funny, on a shoe string budget, this is the recipe for success. I also want the ensemble to continue forever, Antonio and Salma and Cheech and all the rest in a short two word common Latin phrase that these comments wouldn't include, including the kid in the yellow shirt. I care about these people and want to see what they'll do next.
Writer/Director/Cinematographer extraordinary in the French word for it that these comments also couldn't include, Robert Rodrigez can do whatever he wants naturally and he does it very very well. I love seeing the refinements he has effected since the original and hope this will become a genre I can anticipate seeing more of--ungrammatical as hell.