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Medianeras (2005)
9/10
Fantastic!
25 June 2006
I got to check this out at the LA Film Festival Shorts Program, and absolutely loved it. The intro to the film gives almost a slide-show presentation of the aesthetics (or lack thereof) of the architecture of Buenos Aires. This serves as a backdrop to isolationism and alienation between previous lovers, who manage to just barely avoid each other in this most desolate urban jungle. The parallels between Buenos Aires and Los Angeles were poignant, especially with the feelings of solitude in crowds and attempts at online dating. The cinematography and acting were top notch. This film was my favorite out of the series shown at the Fest.
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Hoodwinked! (2005)
4/10
Campy, crappy, but fun in its own weird little way.
31 January 2006
I got to see this for free, and to be brief, no I probably wouldn't pay $10 to see this in the theater.

The animation does indeed suck. The story's not all that great. The voice acting leaves much to be desired. The lighting is horrible and the textures are gaudy and annoying. Yet...for some odd reason I still liked it. I think for the same reason I enjoy silly little student films. That's all this is--a feature-length student film. I can see it gaining an audience on college campuses. I could see watching it again, high as a kite. But to take this seriously is just wrong.

BTW I'd also like to mention that I'm currently working on a $90m CG Feature, and this film made me feel that much more secure about my job. Thanks Hoodwinked!
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7/10
Pretty good
5 September 2004
I got a chance to see this at the Nuart theater in Santa Monica tonight, and Vincent Gallo was there. I got to briefly talk to him before I went in and watched it, and he was very humble and pleasant. The film itself was pretty good, while I didn't mind long takes, the theater made the experience a bit uncomfortable to sit in silence for long periods of time, perhaps it would be better to watch on DVD. I don't see what all the fuss is about; it's a decent film and I certainly didn't think much of the "infamous" scene--it was part of the story, and it belonged in the film, end of story. After the movie Gallo did a quick Q&A and then showed a clip from Ebert&Roeper where they were trashing the film--good for a quick laugh. Glad he's got a sense of humor. Dunno if you MUST see it in the theater, but I'll get it when it comes out on DVD.
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Spider-Man 2 (2004)
9/10
I didn't even like the first one, and I LOVED this one!
1 July 2004
I'm proud to work at the facility that did the visual effects to this movie, but it would be unfair to claim that the visual effects made the film. The story is what really sells it, and the effects are the icing on the cake. Don't get me wrong, the effects are mind-blowing--some of the best action sequences I've ever seen. And Raimi is at the top of his game--and there are sweet little tidbits for those of you who have followed his career over the years--certain actors, types of camera moves and angles, will make you chuckle with delight and remind you who's directing this wonderful film. It's fun, warm, exciting, overall just amazing. I'll definitely go watch it a few more times!
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The Terminal (2004)
Better than most have stated
22 June 2004
I was surprised to see such a different movie than other folks have described here. I've heard people complaining about "animals" at the end of the movie...what on earth are you talking about? There's nothing weird at the end at all! It's a very touching film, small by Spielberg's standards, but hey, let the guy make whatever kind of film he wants. It has a heart, deep down. Sure it's got its flaws, but it's by no means a bad film, as compared to Pearl Harbor or Armageddon, for crying out loud. Hanks is the man, and can work wonders with any sort of material.
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I guess there *are* good Lynch movies out there...
30 December 2002
After seeing every commercially available Lynch film from Blue Velvet to Mullholland Drive, I have had mixed opinions on Lynch. My favorite up until now was Blue Velvet. Now, I have to say Twin Peaks is my favorite Lynch film. This is a truly awesome film. It's captivating and pretty much does it for me. Only one question: I noticed Heather Graham was in the opening credits. WHERE IS SHE IN THE FILM???? Don't tell me "Annie Blackburn," I can read. But which character was Annie Blackburn? I looked over the credits here and yes it's the same actress from Boogie Nights and Lost in Space, so where is she in Twin Peaks?? Someone please respond with this info, it's driving me nuts! Thanks.
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10/10
A review from a conservative, right-winger.
23 October 2002
Before reviewing this film, let me first preface that I grew up in a small town, made up of almost entirely republican, gun toting conservatives. I was given my first gun at age 11. I had fired guns more times than I could think. And all the while, listening to Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson.

When I first heard of Michael Moore in the 80s, I was told that he was a leftist extremist communist nut. When I saw the trailer for this film, I thought to watch it.

After seeing this film, I can say this: If this film could be considered the opinions and viewpoint of the democratic, liberal left wing, COUNT ME IN!!!

I have been changed since watching this film. Never before has a film so touched and changed the way I see the world. It made me think. Yes he was saying this sucks and that sucks, and this is wrong and that is wrong, but he was backing it up with FACTS, and that's all I care about. You can spout off about whatever you want, but if you can't back it up, it's B.S.

I went out and purchased Moore's book, "Stupid White Men." I can't wait to dig into it.

So, I guess you can consider my butt converted. I'm changing my voting registration.

This film totally deserves at least Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards this year. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (for anyone with an open mind)
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Design (2002)
8/10
Really good for a first time director!
14 April 2002
I got to watch this at a screening at UCSD. Shot on 16mm reversal stock, the movie is richly silvery blue and very grainy, which works well. My only complaint was that the film is so dark, sometimes you can't see the characters' facial expressions (the DP was Pete Biagi, the same guy as Project Greenlight, and it was his work on this picture that got him Stolen Summer). After the film, I got the chance to talk with Davidson and John about this film and what they were going for. It was interesting to note what a technical challenge it was to utilize many different formats (everything from super8 to DV) on the screen at once in Gallo-esque (and arguably Korine-esque) montage sequences. It's not the most original plot ever conceived, and many strong plot points are taken from other films, but really, there is no such thing as a completely original film anymore. Just good films and bad films. And this was good. I wanted to get it on DVD but I guess they need to get a distributor first. I really hope they do! I'd love to watch this in a major theater (possibly brightened up a little in parts) and I'd definately buy it on DVD when it's available. Not for everyone, but that's one of the reasons I liked it. Imagine a Lynch film without the pretentiousness and ambiguity. There's actually a plot and engaging characters. The colors are beautiful and the acting is really good. For a first-timer, this was really good.
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Lost Highway (1997)
1/10
Okay, okay, OKAY!!!
6 February 2002
I saw this movie about four years ago, and hated it. Then, I started thinking about it, and decided to rent it. This time, I didn't know if I hated it or not. Then, I rented it every few months and kept coming up empty as to whether this is a good film or not. I just finished watching it tonight, my 15th or 16th time, and I can say this:

Lynch has a really big problem consistent in all his movies. I recently saw Mullholland Drive so now I've seen basically all his publicly available films. Lynch, you've got some truly great ideas. Seriously. BUT...you don't know how to tell a story. All you do is grab a bunch of cool ideas, throw them together, and fling them on screen for all to guess at. Don't do that. That's the reason why your films continue to bomb. They will bomb and bomb and all the DGA awards in the world aren't going to make you a better storyteller.

Another common theme to Lynch: tits. He flings them everywhere. So the hell what? Who cares? Kubrick pulled it off, Lynch doesn't. I'm old enough to not care about nudity in movies anymore, why doesn't he? And what's with the DGA? Okay, you bunch of loons see some titties and give him Best Director? Whatever. Now I know in the future that when I make films, all I have to do is show people humping, preferably two chicks, lots of tits, and nonsensical scenes of people standing still against a black background, not saying anything. The fact that I had to watch Lost Highway so many times to try to figure it out is a really big problem. I'm not saying sell out like Bay or Woo or whatever, but isn't the point of being a director to tell a story? Can you imagine sitting around a campfire, listening to someone tell this tale? You'd slap them across the face for not making sense.

I dunno, I've given up on Lynch. One less Lynch fan here, folks.
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1/10
What movie were the critics watching??
9 January 2002
I saw Mulholland Drive expecting to see a David Lynch film. I loved Blue Velvet and the Stra, and even Lost Highway. I love "out there" movies. But this one was just boring. It's a lesbian jerk-off flick. So what? Why is this winning so many awards? It wasn't good. It was terrible and stupid. You can totally tell that he reshot all the porn crap later just to get the distribution heads to go nuts and release it. I as an audience member am insulted that this trype is considered "brilliant" or "unique". It is neither. Lynch is a hack.
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8/10
Much better than I remembered.
3 January 2002
This film was excellent! While some may argue that it is not up to par with "A Christmas Story" it is definately a good and faithful sequel. Unfortunately none of the same cast (probably because all the child actors were now too old) but still great acting all around. The story is awesome, and the narration classic! One to definately check out. 8/10.
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9/10
Better than the original...almost.
29 July 2001
*SPOILIERS*

I think this movie was re-edited shortly before it's release. I say this because there are two things I've noticed: One, the line in the trailer "Bring me the space man!" is omitted. Two, there is not one, but two big plot twists in the film. The first one is cool and works well, the other is HORRIBLE. Burton, if this was your fault, you are an idiot. If it was Fox's fault, all you studio execs are idiots.

The similarities between the original and the Burton films are few. There's the forbidden zone, there's a quick cameo of Dr. Zeus (ever so briefly, you have to be looking for him in the background). There's a bigger cameo of Charlton Heston as General Thade's father, also saying the like "Damn them! Damn them all to hell!" which brought on cheers in the crowd. There's also the first line between Marky Mark and an ape: "Get your hand off me you damn dirty human!" which wasn't received so well.

The main plot twist was a good adaptation of the original, and perhaps a bit more realstic. However the second one brought on "boo's" from the crowd. People were really p***ed off at it. I won't give it away here, but let's just say that the other 99.9% of the film BARELY makes up for how bad this ending is.

Tim Roth as Thade was INCREDIBLE. He stole the show. He was evil incarnate, and I'd watch the movie again just for him (and then I'll walk out of the theater right before the crappy ending).

9/10, would have been a 10 but minus 1 for the ending.
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10/10
I know understand more than ever...
1 July 2001
I just got out of the theater less than 10 minutes ago, so I decided to write this while the movie was as fresh in my mind as possible.

Let me begin with this, while I will describe the ending in vague terms, this review will contain NO SPOILERS.

I now understand exactly how I would've felt back in 1968 when 2001: A Space Oddysey came out. Audiences, then as now, either "get it" or say "what the hell was that all about?" Think about it: audiences were thinking for "2001": "What was that? A baby in a sphere? A light tunnel? An old dying dude in a bed? Monkeys? A BIG BLACK STUPID BOX???"

When I watched A.I., I thought of the audience. I could totally see how people who saw 2001 would laugh at certain scenes. So with A.I. There were many people, almost the entire theater, especially near the end, who were laughing and leaving the theater early. Let me be blunt: If you didn't "get" 2001, you will NOT "get" A.I.

It's different, it's emotional, it's thought-provoking, it's brilliant, it's KUBRICK. He came back to life to direct this film. Only on certain occasions could you tell Spielberg couldn't help himself and had to be Spielberg. While at other times, Spielberg was somewhere else, letting Kubrick direct.

Anyone who says this film sucks obviously didn't "get" it. And yes, there is something to "get" with this film.

Haley Joel Osment was AWESOME. If he isn't the best child actor on the face of the earth, I wanna meet the kid who is. Jude Law wasn't as amazing, but his character wasn't really allowed to be. But still, with what he had, Jude Law was also great.

Let this be a lesson to Lucas: there ARE good child actors out there. But more importantly, there are GREAT child actors out there. You suck for what you did in Episode I, but Spielberg showed you up by making this film.

Let this be a lesson to Spielberg: You don't have to explain EVERYTHING to the audience. You don't have to hold the audience by the hand and hit them over the head with emotion. Let the scenes play themselves out.

The voiceovers were distracting and unnessary. It'd be like Kubrick's original idea of having voiceovers in 2001: it would've been weird, and it was definately weird here.

The story, while on the outset seems like a ripoff of Pinocchio, it is definately not. Even to the point of directly referencing it throughout the film. This movie is original, bold, and not for everyone. That's the one main problem: this is not a film for the audience. This is a film for that 1 or 2 percent of the population who, on seeing 2001 in the theater, stood up and cheered. I was so floored by this film that as we walked out of the theater I stopped and shouted at the top of my lungs: "That was F&*@ING BRILLIANT!!!" which is what I would have said had I been in the theater of "2001" in 1968.

I now love Kubrick more than ever. I have more of a personal respect and admiration for him and his work than I ever did before.

Again, if you can't get into movies like 2001 that break the mold of conventional filmmaking, you will not like A.I.
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Star (I) (2001)
10/10
The best BMW short film yet!
12 June 2001
Guy Ritchie is one helluva director, as was apparent in both "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch." He shows his directing prowess in short films as well with Star, featuring the freakin AWESOME actor of understatement Clive Owen and the "surprise" addition of Madonna playing the famous personna from hell. Cool dialogue, INCREDIBLE cinematography, and of course, awesome direction. How'd they lock the camera down to the car when it's 30 feet away? Amazing! If BMW doesn't release these films on DVD, they're crazy. If Clive Owen isn't starring in a ton of great films in the next few years because of these films, hollywood is crazy. If Guy Ritchie ever makes a bad film, I'm crazy.

If you've got the CPU power and harddrive space, I'd totally recommend downloading BMW's propriatary movie player from their site so you can watch the films in nice high-resolution and director commentary, just like a DVD! Looking forward to the Making Of and Powderkeg.

BMW: Please release a DVD of these films! Please! Please! Now! Thanks.
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7/10
Pretty good, with exceptions.
10 May 2001
First off, I'd like to say that I haven't seen this movie since I was a kid. I just finished watching for the first time in 16 years, with mixed opinions. First, the story is good. The dialogue is decent (swearing in a Disney kids movie? Right on!). The cinematography is ok. The directing is pretty good. The acting is okay. The music is HORRIBLE. I've noticed, not only with this picture, but almost every Disney movie from the late 60s on into the mid 80s, if you turn the music off, it's actually more enjoyable to watch. Being a music theory major in college, I have come to really appreciate good scoring for movies. There are several scenes where the music is entirely inappropriate (such as after the crash, when they're rounding up all the equipment and animals and the music is straight from Yee Haw). Still, after all these years, it was good to watch it again. So if you can cringe your way through the sappy music, you're good to go with this edgy Disney movie.
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1/10
This was a hyped-up piece of garbage.
20 June 2000
First off, I am a *very* liberal person, and my best friend of 15 years is gay, so it would be fair to say that I am in no way prejudice against gays. However, it is fairly obvious that the subject matter of this film rather than the substance (or lack thereof) is the topic of much acclaim. Hilary Swank did nothing to convince me that she deserved the Best Actress Oscar for her performance. Same thing happened last year with Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love. I suppose Hollywood was simply scared into *not* disliking this film, thus thrusting it into the spotlight and making everyone who didn't like it feel prejudice and ignorant. It's like making a film with gay characters is guaranteed success because the film industry is too timid to shake it's finger at such "originality and bold filmmaking."

This movie was absolutely horrible to watch. The story is incoherent at best, and the whole "two-girls-finding-love-in-an-evil-man-infested-world-that-are-punished-for- their-love" idea has already been done innumerous times, so the sentiment that this film is so unique and bold and new is bull. I don't care if this was based on a true story. For heaven's sake, don't use Hilary Swank to play someone who is supposed to be mistaken for a guy! I mean, how ignorant can these people be? I'm willing to bet that the real Teena Brandon was much more masculine in her appearance. The fact that all the men who are in this film are portrayed as fat, stupid, and evil simply added to the absurdity of this movie.

Kimberly Peirce is an obvious man-hater and it shows very clearly in her directing. And Tracy Granger, I'm sorry, but you have to be one of the worst editors ever in film. Where's the concept of continuity? This film jumps around so much that all you end up getting is one simpathetic look at Swank after another. I'm sure that the public agrees for the most part on this since it pretty much bombed at the box office and nobody is really renting it. Just because you have gay characters doesn't mean that you are Gandhi. Look what happened to "Ellen". 0 out of 10.
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1/10
John Woo Fails Again
25 May 2000
If you didn't enjoy Broken Arrow for its terrible direction, be braced for worse in Woo's latest attempt Mission Impossible 2. I thought the first installment of the two was okay, but as is the case more often than not, the sequel turns out worse. More than anything, Woo's style of slow-motion and extreme-angle shots would be cool if it wasn't taken too seriously. The music is way over the top (read: big music rise when man grabs a scarf...). The sound effects editing is equally as bad (a woman slaps a man in the face and it sounds like a 70s kung-fu kick). It would be fair to say that if you removed all of the slow-motion scenes in this movie, it'd be about 35 minutes long. However, Scooby-Doo fans will appreciate Woo's obvious tribute to lame plot-twists. This film is basically an excuse to show Cruise with wind blowing in his hair with a little smirk behind dark glasses (Matrix, anyone?). I don't care how many freakin' Kung Fu movies this guy's made: Every American film he's been involved in has sucked bigtime: Broken Arrow, The Rock, Face/Off, and most notably: Hard Target (poo!). Don't get me wrong: I wasn't expecting Shakespeare here...but there's no law stating that if you make an action movie, it has to be really unintelligent. Look at the original Bond films, for example. This has never happened to me before, but about twenty minutes in, I felt like I was in a movie theater, not involved in the story. I had to try to keep focusing on the screen and try to get into it, but I just couldn't. So in conclusion, if you like to be insulted as an audience member or feel like staring at a 40-foot-wide slow-motion extreme low-angle of Tom Cruise trying to be cool or acting tough, you're sure to get your eight dollars' worth. Oh yeah, an abundance of big explosions from three hundred different angles. Yawn.
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10/10
A Milestone in Horror Movies
3 August 1999
I actually got my hands on a copy of this film about two months ago from a friend of a friend. We watched it at work and everyone loved it. I started passing it out to people I know, who took it and showed it to other people they knew, and I have tallied about 600 people have seen my copy in the last two months. I know that of these people, 572 of them thought it was the scariest movie they'd ever seen, 8 didn't get it, and the rest hated it. I hope Haxan doesn't get mad at me...it's not even my tape! Besides, it's free advertising...I know that people who saw the tape went and told their friends who went to go see it in the theater, so hopefully I helped a little with the word-of-mouth. :)
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Virus (1999)
1/10
A complete and utter waste of celluloid.
17 January 1999
This has to be one of the 10 worst films I've ever seen in my life, and I've seen many MANY films, and usually am not very rough when making an opinion. However, I feel that I have to state that everyone should demand that the studio hand out $6 to every citizen who wants to see this film so at least when they go broke it's for a reason. How can a movie this bad even be made anyway? Wouldn't someone along the production line say "uhh, hey, does anyone else think this sucks?"

Spend your money on some ice cream and a rental.
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10/10
A bit better than the rest.
17 January 1999
This is actually a pretty funny movie. Definitely more childish in humor, but this is a plus. Not as bad as everyone says.
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