I love WH Macy but David Threlfall is the classic Frank - lazy, drunk, delusional, selfish, hilarious.
Please watch the UK version first.
That is how long and awful this movie is. Two major rules broken by Curtis Hanson:
1. It is well over 2 hours which immediately breaks first the sacred covenant of chick flicks - KEEP IT SHORT (1.5 hours or less). Yes, you hate your sister and your step-mom. Yes, the cute guy cheated on you with your sister. Yes, the nice guy you overlooked in your sensitive knight in shining armor. Move it along, we've seen it all before
2. 2nd rule- IF YOU DIRECT ONE OF THE BEST ACTION & SUSPENSE MOVIES EVER MADE (L.A. CONFIDENTIAL), DON'T LOSE YOUR MIND AND SETTLE FOR THIS GARBAGE.
I really can't believe it, Curtis. What happened? I can't believe you are not directing better movies than this.
The storyline & flow is what really puts this movie in the dumpster. Basically there are none. There's no build-up, the end battle just happens. Overall, a bad script & a bland story with bland acting. The special effects are great sometimes but horribly computer generated the next. Note to Hollywood: Please stop adding Matrix style scenes to every freakin action movie. Also, please stop with the "we love New York, we love America themes". We get it OK. We're dealing with post-Sept stuff enough. It's only placed into movies that are so awful they need it for dramatic overtures.
That's another point of the movie:
Lester Bangs (the 'uncool' rock cynic & William's mentor, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) says "you've come at a very dangerous time for rock & roll. The war is over. They (record companies) won. You've arrived for the final 'death rattle'".
How true, look at the garbage on MTV or listen to the radio- rock & roll died a long time ago. (I'm only 30 by the way so I've seen both sides of the fence)
Some things I noticed:
- 'Red Dog' character is based on a real person. He's a long time roadie for the Allman Brothers Band. William has a poster of "Live At the Fillmore East" (the greatest live album of all time) on his wall. If you look on the back of the album, Red Dog is there.
- William is walking around the hotel hallways and briefly peers into a room where a young man is playing guitar. It's the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan (I mean someone playing the role of Stevie). Nice salute to a master, Cameron.
- After Stillwater opens for Black Sabbath, you can hear 'Sweet Leaf' in the background. It's supposed to be Sabbath playing the arena but I'm positive it's actually from the obscure album "Live at Last". Awesome stuff!
As a Kubrick fanatic, it bothers me that his name appears on this film. Spielberg has tendencies to wrap everything up sappy & neat . AI is truly the worst example of this. How can you approach subjects such as robotic love vs. human love & alien existence then end up turning it into a child's fairytale? The aliens were particularly absurd because he used them just to pull more emotional sap from the audience. Yeah, they've mastered the entire universe but we can only bring back Mommy for one day. Please Spielberg, grow a sack. This movie had potential but Kubrick died before the proper vision could be made.
5. Glow sticks could save your life someday. 4. Take off your turban when crashing on a foreign planet. Aliens don't like them. 3. In the distant future, when a forward thinking mankind is free to explore the wonders and dangers of the universe, it's still OK to tell a woman to "put a cork in it" or "shut your mouth." 2. Take carpet samples of Predator, Aliens, Terminator then add some strange coloring and panoramic views that would make a Calvin Klein perfume commercial jealous, then a dash of shaking from the Blair Witch, a pinch of B movie effects/acting.voila a SCI-FI movie.
1. Listen to my crap detector more closely before choosing a movie.
Some call this movie uplifting but I am just not there yet. The tragedies and triumph were nearly meshed-something you don't see very often. The symbolism can looked at from many angles but I took from it one premise: Self-pity and mundaneness are the enemies of salvation. Take a step out of it and the world is new.
That being said, the action was excellent as were the effects. The story was thought-provoking but unfortunately it answered it's own questions. Maybe the audience would have been better off not knowing what Allie saw but it's another example of the dumbing of America. Paint the picture and explain it, leave nothing up to the audience. Studios just don't want to take that risk anymore. Too bad..
The basic flaw, in my opinion, was that the main character, "C", was protected too much. He's placed in the mobster underworld yet always had a bubble around him. I could not get past that.
Overall, this movie is like a Disney version of "Good Fellas". Never goes too far and more sentimental than realistic and,of course, a nice fairy tale ending. Yuck!
Peter Sellers was unbelievable. The dialogue from the shoot out scene to the Presidential phone call is some of the funniest I have ever heard. All his characterizations were dead on.
It is a truly unique movie because the film's subject is plausible and simply terrifying yet presented as satire. Don't know how Kubrick pulled this one off but he did.
Simply put, AHX makes you examine your American beliefs. Many times the movie tries to make you feel good in bad ways -like the b-ball game when the skinheads win. The direction and music during these scenes pushes you to feel happy. Derek's "Rodney King tirade" almost makes sense until you realize his rage outweighs the rational side.
AHX compels you to like Derek and justifies it by his change in mind during the stint in jail. The only weakness of the movie was that the turn around in jail came a little too easy. Lamont befriended him quickly and unconditionally- not very realistic given the crime. Overall, it touches many areas of life from general race relations to how personal choices affect the people around you. Great movie.
Overall, you must have patience to watch this movie. There are no shoot-outs or chase scenes. Dialogue is pretty sparse. The movie is more about mood and build-up, and giving the audience pieces but changing it around in the end. Good flick but not as visually stunning as Apoc. Nor gripping as The Godfather.
David : "..the problem is we had a Stonehenge monument in danger of being crushed by a f***in dwarf"
Reiner's direction was brilliant. He made it from the perspective that these were "serious musicians" which made their fall and rise all the much funnier. A true classic which will never suffer from being dated. Now, how do I get out of here?