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Fails at a (probably) impossible task
10 October 2017
Although knowledge of the original is not an absolute necessity to take in this film, for those of us who love the original, it does tend to set up expectations -- probably unachievable expectations.

The original was -- at the time -- a fresh look into a broken future where the sunlight didn't penetrate. Where the old -- cars, buildings, city streets -- were patched and repurposed and everything was gritty and compromised outside of the headquarters of the dominant corporations.

This new sequel is confused. There is sunlight in the opening scene. Maybe a mildly positive note that quickly is subsumed into a dreary, murky world without joy (except the artificial kind). Sure, that's true to the 1982 film and the source story, but the scenes take place above & away from the teeming streets that provided so much eye candy in BR.

Another big shift is that while the police were a somewhat equal force to the Tyrell Corp in BR, the Wallace Corp seems the ultimate authority in BR2049. This makes for a certain inevitability in the plot development.

I like Villeneuve as a director. I like his slow pacing and drawn out scenes. I like the producers' choices in casting - two particularly beautiful-to-look at artificial women and a tough, jaded police captain… The leads are good. No surprise. When is Leto not great? Gosling plays a blade runner written as more jaded and less emotional than Ford's original character, and our lack of resonance with his character is distancing. It keeps us at — not in — the film.

The Vangelis score of the original was full of regret and loss in synthetic tonalities. It was a thing integral to the film and something that stuck with you long afterward. Here, the score just didn't make much of an impact - it was recycled themes.

Sequels don't have to tick all the boxes that made the original so special, but they have to bring something of significance to the party. In the original, Deckard was tracking 5 replicants and peeling back onion layers in classic noir style. In BR2049, it's a single mystery that is said to be linked to something profound, and we kinda get that on an intellectual level, but where's the emotional resonance?

In other words, there is nothing remotely like the Roy Batty death scene.

And perhaps the message of BR is just too big an idea to permit a worthy sequel. So we end up with something that - to me - was much like my experience with Prometheus. Many of the parts were there; the craft was there. The scope and budget were not compromised… but the emotional hook that makes the "big idea" truly profound did not develop. 7/10
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Busanhaeng (2016)
This works extraordinarily well as an action flick with a heart.
3 April 2017
First, let me say that I am not a fan of the zombie genre. World War Z was okay, I thought. The Walking Dead bored me.

This Korean movie will likely (like Oldboy) get a US remake so the snowflakes who are upset by subtitles will get to see a Hollywoodized version at some point in the future. No doubt the plot will be changed through committee interference.

In this movie, our protagonist isn't the most likable person... and don't expect Hollywood to leave his character arc untouched.

Enjoy this one in its present form. It does an excellent job with a growing feeling of dread that turns into an all out chase film with twists and surprising script decisions. Some old character stereotypes are worked in, but there are plenty of unexpected turns and clever solutions.

Like The Host, another Korean film I particularly like, there's family drama at the core. But it doesn't overwhelm the sheer ferocity of the action.
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Her (2013)
In a word, brilliant
21 December 2013
Science fiction has been dominated by 'space westerns' for so long that the occasional concept- based story situation hits a big number on my personal richter scale.

What does it mean to be human? And if we create near-humans what is our responsibility to them and what is their relationship to us? These themes underpinned Blade Runner and Spielberg's A.I. And Sci Fi of the 50s and 60s dealt with machine self awareness. None of the films that touched on this subject in the past presented it so thoroughly, intimately and believably.

Her is in the near future, but everything we see is within reach now: the isolation and starkness of the "business district," the oppressive scale of the architecture (with thin, clumsy attempts to soften its sterility) and the need for continuous connection to remote voices.

A personal assistant that learns independently and takes initiative for its hapless user, "Her" is at once the ideal tool and — who knows — perhaps closer to the next level of evolution.

Pitch perfect performances and direction kept me in the story. As others have said, the locations, cinematography and even music shine in the fabric of this film. Spike Jonze is a master story weaver at the top of his game. Joaquin Phoenix is utterly credible as are all the other leads. Even Scarlett Johansson, who has not always seemed a strong actress to me performs utterly convincingly.

It's an adult-themed film in more ways than one, but especially in the best way: it makes you think about a reality that's right around the corner.
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They Live (1988)
Are we being manipulated? Yes. By whom?
12 August 2013
Based on a very short story, John Carpenter's They Live takes it to a whole new level. The film is sardonic, funny and satirical. Set during the recession of 1986, it posits the source of the Yuppie scourge of the era.

By now, few who may see this review have not seen the film, but for those few, I won't go into spoilers, but suffice it to say that anyone who loves conspiracy theories will recognize all of the elements: the ones at the top of the conspiracy, pulling the strings and all those who go along for convenience or reward or because they 'can't handle the truth.' And most of all, those few who see the truth and must fear for their lives as they try to fight apparently insurmountable odds in a society 'wired against them.' Heck, there's even a black helicopter.

As with a conspiracy theorist's perception of the world, the American (and one presumes other countries') society of They Live is unable to see the strings, let alone the puppet masters. To the everyday worker, everything seems normal. Wealth and social/economic advancement are out of reach and the media give out subliminal messages designed to demotivate, produce calm obedience and distract.

Some would compare They Live to the masterpiece 1984 in the way it predicts top-down manipulation of the working class and lower class by design. They Live adds humor and sci-fi, but the message is there. Some say that in the years since this film was created, some of the trends imagined in it have come to pass. I wouldn't argue with that.
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Prometheus (I) (2012)
Are all prequels to franchise films fundamentally doomed?
9 June 2012
Prequels to films with fully-detailed ecosystems can play out like a grocery list of payoffs and 'tribute' scenes. Prometheus has that challenge. Sir Ridley Scott came from the world of commercials where the stereotypes must reveal/explain and play themselves out quickly. So we have all the Alien "hooks" in place and plenty of sci fi genre hooks (Star Trek, Star Wars, Indiana Jones) all blended into a script that sometimes -- because of these hooks -- distracts rather than enthralls.

Yes, there has to be a corporate expedition, and a diverse crew and crew conflicts and an amoral robot and slimy creatures. Check, check and check. But where is the growing sense of dread that worked so well in Alien? Granted, this is -- by necessity -- derivative stuff. But I watched Prometheus from a distance. Never with the sense of intimate menace that Alien so brilliantly exploited.

There is one situation that is so preposterous and distracting that it took me right out of the film -- and I was barely in it, anyway. The best science fiction puts you into the world you are observing and uses that to give you new perspectives. Prometheus was at times a bit like a thing wriggling in a test tube. Fascinating, but safely removed and not really threatening.

Did I dislike the film? I did not. I rated it a 6/10. It sustained my interest. It simply didn't thrill me. By all means, see it. However, do not go in with high expectations.
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Monsters (2010)
Satisfying movie, if you get what sci fi really is
31 October 2010
I first heard about this movie in a radio interview, so I was aware that it was very low budget. But lately "sci fi" movies have been all about escalating action to the point of absurdity. Classic sci fi is about people reacting to new/mysterious/dangerous situations. This movie has that, with interesting protagonists. It has echos of Sin Nobre and El Norte, and yes, the context of "alien substitution" echoes District 9. But it's not a re-make, and it's consistently entertaining, with a straight-ahead narrative. There are only a few moments where a shock reaction is telegraphed. A big studio would have made this story into an effects extravaganza. But in my opinion it's more effective showing limited interaction with the aliens.

If you can handle real sci fi -- movies without the excesses of Transformers or 2012 -- this sci fi will satisfy.
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Mad Men (2007–2015)
Ran it up the flagpole; everyone saluted
17 August 2010
I caught the tail end of this era when I started work in advertising in a backwater town in 1970. I can say that this series captures the flavor with surprising accuracy. I was there; I know.

Advertising was -- at the time -- an industry that took itself far too seriously --possibly because it was the destination of second rate managers (albeit first rate creative people). From a manager's perspective, advertising could never lead to the presidency of a "real" company. And advertising was a parasitic enterprise requiring a lot of what we used to call "schmoozing." As nobody knew what would eventually work with the public, we had to play golf with the clients, drink and dine with them, and in some cases, facilitate a little bit of sin.

Sexism was woven into everyday's activities. The partners had the window offices and were often 'creating' for hours behind closed doors. One of our partners worked until about 10 every night to avoid dealing with his family. Another had a 'special relationship' with his secretary (who looked a lot like Christina Hendricks) unbeknownst to his wife. One partner was weak and incompetent, but was carried because he was a co-founder.

In other words, this series is very much like revisiting my first ad agency job. I find the anachronisms (like the term 'play date' in the first episode) to be quite tolerable in the context of a big picture look at the 60s ad world.

There was a saying at the time: run it up the flagpole and see if anybody salutes. As one who was there, I salute Mad Men.
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Breillat asks us to "watch the unwatchable" for a reason.
29 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
There are some films you watch to get a message and this is one of the most surprising. The director sees a dichotomy in men's views of women which some women internalize. Paglia talks about the same thing, without focusing on the 'infernal' part that dominates this film.

What is similar in Paglia and Breillat's views is that men admire tidiness, completeness, finality; they see the world in an almost binary way. They see women as complicated by the potential to create life and abhor the mechanisms that support that creation. Paglia calls it the Apollonian vs Dionysian. Breillat doesn't use those terms, but might think of it as Apollonian vs Cthonian.

I personally don't have this view, but I've heard about it long enough to assume it's widespread among men.

Breillat relieves us men of the overgeneralization by using a sexually ambiguous character to act as the "watcher of the unwatchable." Our heroine is ambiguous, too, in that she wants the opposite of what she claims and has chosen a difficult path to get it.

I am conflicted in how to rate this film. It is simple on the surface, and deals with a lot of imagery that will be intolerable to some viewers (other reviews on IMDb reflect that). As the launching point of discussion between men and women, this film serves its purpose. But I do not see this as a film that a man and a woman should watch together, because their respective reactions may color and diminish the other's experience.
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Ground level view of terror
28 March 2009
It doesn't take a big budget to make a good movie about what it would be like to be in a big city in a terror attack. Terror is after all, a personal emotion. Whatever the state of your relationship at that moment, that's where the picture freezes. You're not fully moved in, you hate your family, you had a fight... that's where things stand when the bombs go off. And if you're not blasted or burned or crushed in the initial blast, and if you're moderately resourceful, you'll find a way to survive -- for a while at least. And then you hope the 'authorities' do the right thing and come to save you. If you've thought about all of these things, you will appreciate how Chris Gorak plays it all out. This is not a movie for everyone. If you want all your questions answered, a big studio popcorn movie is probably more your style. But if you appreciate the exercise of putting yourself in the protagonist's shoes, this is a great ride.
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Cloverfield (2008)
The Monster Movie: this time it's personal.
20 January 2008
Spielberg got us partway there with War of the Worlds (a huge missed opportunity to outdo the original). These guys -- Abrams and Reeves -- get us all the way there. 'There' is what it might feel like to be in the way of something big and angry and strange in New York city.

I rate this movie a 9 because it is nothing if not effective. The unknown actors are credible, the atmosphere is credible, and the scares are credible. All three are hard to sustain, especially considering the premise of this movie.

The way we all are blindsided and bewildered by events that jar us -- the way we lack the 'God's eye' perspective usually offered in such films; the way life-altering events seem to come out of nowhere... all are captured in a uniquely powerful way here.

Someone called this the first monster movie for the MySpace generation, and I can't argue with that. But I'm way beyond that generation, and I thought this was a breakthrough. Don't wait for rental, see it on the big screen.
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Sometimes "you can't make that into a movie" isn't a challenge but a fact.
16 September 2006
Let me say I am a huge James Ellroy fan. I own everything he's written. The Black Dahilia is a good book — not his best, but a good book. L.A. Confidential was a book that 'couldn't be made into a movie' but was — against all odds, made into a great movie.

The Black Dahlia is just a mess. A mess made by talented people is a mess, nevertheless. This is the noir Showgirls. You may find some campy amusement in some of the roles. You may wonder aloud if the director was on the set, or even in the casting sessions. You may wonder if the producers know anyone who could have been able to come to a screening and say: "this makes no sense, it has bad acting, it has bad casting and it needs massive editing and maybe some additional scenes." I frankly don't even have hope for a 'director's cut' because I don't think this film can be saved. Shame on Brian DePalma for wasting an opportunity to make a great film out of a great book.

Was everything about it bad? No. Uncharacteristically of recent Hollywood work, there is a good sense of time and place, uninterrupted by jarring anachronisms. The color palette is muted and really extraordinarily beautiful. Scarlett Johanson's lips and bust are as captivating and ever-present as we wish her acting chops were. Eckhart is badly used. Hartnett is one-note and doesn't elicit empathy. Swank is great to look at, Mesmerizing, really, but unconvincing. There are good performances in minor roles. The cars are nice. Lots of Lipstick Lezbos. Like I said, think noir Showgirls.
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Great premise, mostly realized
23 July 2006
I admit, Uma does it for me. And if Uma does it for you, you could spend your money on worse things.

The concept is the perfect counterpoint to the endless parade of 'super' beings resurrected from third rate comic books. What if... what if Peter Parker had violent mood swings. What if Superman had an anger management problem. What if a hell had no fury like a super woman scorned? It's a premise so strong that it's all there for the screenwriter and director to lose. No, they don't hit all the notes perfectly, and yes, it looks like there were more than a few changes in the editing room. And yes, secondary characters are left undeveloped. And there is an odd yardstick used to measure female sexual prowess... one guesses, to keep a PG-13 rating. But all in all, this is an enjoyable Summer popcorn movie.

I expect there will be more than a few deleted scenes worth watching when the DVD comes out -- scenes fleshing out secondary characters, especially. But you already know what most of them will be, because this is a Superhero(ine) Movie with few surprises. But lots of laughs.
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Syriana (2005)
Not perfect, but stands out in a season of dreck
8 December 2005
Syriana makes you shut up and think. It's a big plate of spaghetti and you will follow some individual story strands for quite a while before you know why.

But it all comes together in the end.

Movie buffs will react again and again as familiar faces crop up -- solid and underused actors; actors you can't get enough of... and a few new actors who make solid impressions. Among the former groups, David Clennon, Tim Blake Nelson, William Hurt... Only a couple of the parts were played a bit sketchily, and I suspect, thinking about it afterward, that there were likely more than a handful of deleted scenes. It's not that we're missing any of the story line, but we may be missing some of the character story arcs.

A lot happens in this movie. Still more lies under the surface. But the through-line here is the notion of "using." People are used, laws are used, money is used, deceit is used... and under it all, oil is used. Oil is the unstated addiction that drives the actions of Our Hero. But he's not really aware of how high the mechanism of providing for oil reaches until late in the game. Invisible strings make regimes happen, make alliances happen; make death happen. And it's all in the service of the global need for oil.

Is the current and future hunger for oil an addiction, or is it the lifeblood of civilization? That's a question you won't find in this film, but it should hit you some time afterward as you reflect on what you've seen. The other thing that should hit you afterward is: if anything is worth fighting and dying for, isn't it oil?

Syriana has a moral point to make, but it's a simple one and not steeped in any particular ideology: we pay an (often unintended) price for our actions. The link between our actions and the price paid is a long, tortured, probably even invisible link. But Syriana shows one aspect of the price to us.

The secondary moral is that incredible wealth can be a curse --- especially if that wealth is a vital resource.

Earlier this year, "Lord of War" seemingly attempted a similar revelation about another industry. but where LoW seemed simplistic and preachy with over-the-top action and acting, Syriana is a great story, well played, and enjoyable just for what's on the surface. The moral components are only there for your personal reflections to uncover.
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Dissed by Spielberg: you, me & HGW
6 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, I'm used to big studio movies being big, loud, stupid and full of plot holes — spectacle over substance.

But WotW was unnecessarily so.

Here we have one of the great science fiction classics and a prior movie that had some reverence for the source material. And Spielberg's "enhancements" are the main thing wrong with this 'new interpretation.'


If the "aliens" buried their machines in the soil in the past, they would already have been exposed to the "bacteria, microbes and viruses" that have been here long predating man.

I'm quite sure Mr. S. knows nothing about cars, but he can afford someone who does. An "EMP" would fry the engine management system of the late model minivan the mechanic was working on. True, it might fuse the solenoid or coil, but that's the least of the problems. It's integrated circuits that are dead meat. So most older cars (including Ray's Mustang) would have been fine with little or no work.

When the machine appears, the nice little 'hands' unfurl and shoot the 'death rays' at fleeing, unarmed people. Does it seem logical to you that beings that advanced would have planned to come to earth and individually shoot 6 billion people? I mean, the ones they don't put in their picnic baskets...

Let's say that we'll suspend disbelief because the aliens are 'so advanced' we don't understand them. There's still one aspect of this movie you cannot avoid. You can see the specific scenes where the Universal Studios WotW ride is being previewed: the cracking pavement, the tipping ferry boat; the shaking basement of the house hit by the falling airplane...

And speaking of falling airplanes: when was the last time you saw a jetliner crash that distributed large sections of plane over no more than 150 feet? The plane crash scene — again — looked like it was designed to be part of an amusement park ride rather than be realistic. But it was nice that the wreckage left a clear path for the minivan to exit.

And the ferry scene. Bad pacing for a Spielberg movie. Plus, we're expected to believe that with a limited number of machines to take over earth, four of them (breaking the 'pattern of three') show up to ineffectually menace our fleeing hero and family.

I'm sorry, but there's something plastic and contrived about Spielberg's 'adventure movies.' And I, for one, am getting tired of it.
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The Apple (1980)
Should be used to make witnesses talk
29 December 2004
Supposedly Manuel Noriega was smoked out with the help of bad rock & roll. This movie would have anyone giving up his secrets in a matter of hours.

It takes millions to make even a bad movie and only the guy who can write the check can say 'yes.' In this case, the guy with the big checkbook was the writer director.

Menachem Golan was the middle east's answer to American schlockmeisters of the 50s. He has nearly 200 movies to his 'credit' -- mainly exploitation quickies. This film is not the high point -- at least culturally, though perhaps chemically.

Insipid 'stars' murky villainy and some of the most laughable 'futuristic' costuming and design could almost make this a cult howler. But there is one redeeming moment in the movie, and it lasts about 12 seconds: when in the music company's lobby, we 'meet' a company of foil-clad ballet dancers and the camera tracks their sensuous dance to a subdued beat. The moment is sublime, but it is surrounded by such painfully inept acting, dialog and plot development that it's just not worth the pain...
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Mystic River (2003)
Hugely disappointing
18 October 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Yes, I got to this movie late; seeing it on DVD. But the size of the screen has nothing to do with my reaction to it.

Great performances all around, but I lay the blame for the failure of this movie at the feet of the director. A great film requires willing and continuous suspension of disbelief and empathy for the characters.


But something goes terribly wrong here, when poor, previously-abused Dave suddenly becomes far less rational than he would have had to be to get to the point in his life where the 'mystery' takes place. Worse, his wife --Celeste -- appears not to know him at all. Perhaps her situation is that she took the only guy available to her because of some secret in her past or weakness of character, but how you have a 10+ year relationship with someone and not know their character... that requires some explanation. Maybe Lehane's book gives the background that is such a gaping wound in the film's continuity and credibility, but the sharp turn in which Celeste turns into a frightened and hostile betrayer took me right out of the movie.

Much has been made of Penn's work and Robbins' work -- and that's appropriate. I felt Linney was a bit weak here in a Lady MacBeth part, but that could be the thin writing. And there's another surprise, because Helgeland brought the 'unfilmable' L.A. Confidential to the screen in such a magnificent way. So figuring out how a film with such potential could go so horribly wrong is a matter of some forensic pathology, and -- for me -- all signs point to the director.
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An important message from an imperfect filmmaker
1 July 2004
Certainly the best film Michael Moore has made, Fahrenheit 9/11 appears to take some of its style and structure from Errol Morris documentaries. Moore could emulate worse.

Moore has a lot to work with and it shows in the abbreviated attention he pays to some aspects of the events between 2000 - 2003. He is even more abbreviated in covering GW Bush's activities before his inauguration. And, I feel Moore spends too much time on the Bush/House of Saud connections -- something of a non-sequitur.

Most people who make documentaries do so because they have a point of view. Moore's point of view is no secret. He uses a mix of vintage movie clips, well-chosen pop music and some musical themes that sound vaguely like Philip Glass (the Errol Morris influence again, I guess) all to good effect.

Technically, there are a couple of errors and in a few cases, facts left out to make a point. Neither are entirely forgivable, especially since Moore was publicly spanked for the 'free rifle' setup in "Bowling for Columbine" but I think Moore probably lacks the perfectionism necessary to make a -- pardon the expression -- bulletproof film.

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a powerful film because of what it says and shows, Moore gets the credit for stepping up and tackling the job. In future, maybe a more 'serious' filmmaker will tackle the same subject matter and make a 7 hour film. Moore gets the credit for keeping F911 engaging and powerful with moments of levity and a lot of real tragedy.

It's sad that so much of this film is going to be a surprise to voters. There's very little new and nothing made up here. But having all of these facts in one place means this film has the power to change the outcome of a Presidential election if it is seen by enough people. And that puts it in the top rank of documentaries -- ever.

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10.5 (2004– )
10.5 on a scale of 10 in contempt for the audience
3 May 2004
Christopher Canaan and John Lafia and expecially Howard Braunstein should be ashamed of themselves for creating something so laughably unrelated to actual science.

Scientists watching Richter scale readings climb on their computer screens like a videogame? Please. No one who stayed awake in 4th grade science would think this realistic. The opening scene says it all: the best place to be in an earthquake is on a BMX bike, doing freestyle stunts. Right.

Earthquake faults that open to the surface *directly under* somebody's stupid model train set? Right.

How could anyone be so lazy as to fail to research a project this big? How could anyone approve such cheesy special effects on a network miniseries? The only explanation is that they (including NBC) just have total contempt for everyone watching.

It's too bad Mystery Science Theater is no more. This would be a classic.

On the IMDB scale of 1 to 10, this barely makes the needle tremble at a "1"
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Citizen Quirk
23 November 2003
This film got under my skin. Now have to confess, I've liked everything the Coen Bros. have done -- everything.

But this film stands head and shoulders above 90% of recent movies based on

cinematography and musical score alone.

Add to these the strengths of an amazing series of performances from every single cast member.

The plot is simple: a nearly-invisible man attempts to step outside of the box in which he functions effectively -- and the wheels of grim fate are set in motion.

This is one of three films starring Billy Bob Thornton in 2001. Each is very different, and in this movie, Billy Bob Thornton gives an amazingly restrained performance where we almost will our own feelings into the character. This is a man who has moved through his life with an expression that suggests he knows what's going on or is one step ahead. But behind that expression is a deer in the headlights.

There are other actors, of course-- some Coen Bros. regulars and not a 'throwaway' part in the bunch. Especially wonderful moments are provided for all the actors and each rises to the occasion -- I particularly liked Ed's lawyer/genealogist/widower friend (Richard Jenkins) who in just a few scenes makes an indelible impression as a lost soul. Reliable James Gandalfini is utterly believable as a bluffer at the end of his game. And Tony Shalhoub was robbed of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his brilliant turn as a brilliant lawyer.

But as I said up front, it's the cinematography and the score that caused me to refer to the greatest movie ever made in the headline. Roger Deakins and constant Coen collaborator Carter Burwell have reached the level of Toland and Hermann in their crafts. See This Film!
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Works on two levels: flashy CGI trash & social satire
30 July 2003
..and I'm not condemning the other folks who didn't get the social satire.

Verhooven's world is presented as a matter-of-fact result of what clearly was a U.S. takeover of the world and elimination of local culture and language. The ultimate cultural imperialism. After all, why does Buenos Aries look like Beverly Hills? Because the U.S. has consumed it.

Is there only one TV channel? Perhaps so. the one shown in the movie is an interactive TV channel obviously completely managed by the government. Dissenters from government policy are shown as tokens -- to allow for the appearance of balance (And this was filmed before there was a Fox News Channel!).

The blandness of the characters, again, is a direct result of a government policy of homogenizing the population and eliminating independent thought.

I guess the reason this is not readily apparent to some is that it all is incorporated in what 'is' in the movie, not explained. You have to give the movie the credibility it deserves (and I for one, did not at first, until I read an interview with the director, who was absolutely aware of how the Nazis controlled the media in WWII) to actually think about how things got to be the way they are.

Why do the bugs attack? Because "extremists" move on to their planet. Do the bugs propel asteroids at Earth? Maybe. Maybe not. The government doesn't really care, because it needs a common enemy to unite the citizens. So seconds after an asteroid hits Earth, the culprits are announced and troops are sent. Jeez, does that remind you of anything that's happened since the movie came out?
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Amanda & the Alien (1995 TV Movie)
Surely you have better things to do with your time?
14 January 1999
I've long heard that to get their start in 'legitimate' films, many behind-the-camera types work on porno films.

The people who produced and directed this monstrosity stayed too long.

Poorly paced, staged and written, it uses a lot of perfectly good talent (Diehl, Dorn, Eggert) badly.

Much sexual activity is teasingly implied here by the brassiere-popping host to the alien creature, but it never crosses the line...

You'll still want to shower afterwards, though.
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Showgirls (1995)
Joe Esterhaus got how much for this?
23 October 1998
Astonishingly bad. A clear contender for a future 'R' rated version of MST3K.

Girl goes to Vegas with big dreams. Will she get her big break? Not with those moves. Along the way to this epiphany, she interacts with equally interesting people.

The movie is a series of scenes in which Our Heroine walks into a situation that deteriorates until she storms out. We are meant to feel her pain. We feel our own instead.

Only redeeming quality: Gina Gershon is on screen for a few minutes.
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