Reviews

84 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
8/10
Solid all around film
23 August 2017
This was a solid film all around. A cut above the standard relationship films. Solid acting, well photographed. What sets it apart is the nuanced script spoken and non spoken. Also, what was refreshing was the subtle take on the sexual dynamics. Nothing seemed forced. The film shows how relationships and really people's lives can turn on subtle manipulation and the slightest turn in how we deal with each other. I would highly recommend this film if interested in relationship type movies. If this is Chris Webber's first foray into features, making choices, decisions and getting involved with projects like these he will have success.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Detroit (2017)
8/10
High mark for exposure.
21 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILER ALERT: Saw the film opening weekend. Had to, I'm from Detroit. Gave it an 8 on IMDb just for exposing the story to the general public. The actor that portrayed Officer David Senak, the main racist officer, may get an academy nomination. My understanding is that he was played close to the real man. He shot 5/6 people during the riot. My understanding is that the guard, Dismukes, played by Boyega actually brutalized some of the teens. He is portrayed as a hero but was the opposite. Those who testified specified that HE tortured THEM, so there is not mistake about that. It was he that was a consultant to the film therefore him coming out as he did, as a hero trying to help, makes sense. The main issue was there was no context of how this came to be. The revolt came as a result of...? No context of the buildup and no context of what happened after regarding the Algiers. There were people's trials, as I understand, at the Shrine of the Black Madonna, where people where packed in to address the situation. So the revolt just shows the audience people stealing etc etc. So no context of the rebellion, the security guard took part in the beatings and did not testify at all. That being said, having been around the film industry, I'm guessing this played out one of two ways. Filmmaker is a women. She wants to make this film about 1967 Detroit. Studios will not give her money to do a complete story as it was, Oscar or not. She's still a female filmmaker. So you do this movie. OR she just wanted to tie in current events with this film and only focus on how things have not changed. Showing... the audience what you see now is no different than what it always has been. DETROIT is how it has been. In cold blood. The Detroit police, was, "the gestapo" and that's what they did. They killed. Bigelow just wanted to focus on the complete racist, and evilness of the Detroit Police specifically Officer Senak and how what he did at the Algiers, killing those teens, is not any different than the police brutality now.
1 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Cool film to watch
6 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS I'll be brief. The Dark Tower was a cool film to watch. Not great but interesting enough to keep my attention. Mainly cause Idris Elba is a cool brotha to watch. He's intense, brooding and cool with firearms. I like that he did not joke and played serious the whole time. The kid provided the jokes. Nothing great but fun to watch him use guns and the action stuff. The spoiler is from fault in writing. Kid, if Gunslinger save your life two times you do not go against him. He is whatever he says he is and he is pretty much your god, cause you are alive. That's a fault in the script. Don't see your standard kid questioning a guy who just saved your life twice within a matter of days.
22 out of 44 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
100 Streets (2016)
6/10
Sappy but not so much because of the acting-worth a look
17 June 2017
Right, so this is a sappy film. But, not cause of the acting in my opinion. Looks at the choices people make and how they deal with the realities that life presents them. The acting is good all around. Idris, Gemma, Franz Drameh and Ryan Gage put in good performances. Yes, it's stereotypical and predictable. The stories do not intersect are separate stories taking place at the same time. What throws it off and makes it sappy is the writing and the score/music. Seeing as Idriss Elba was the music supervisor this is kind of disappointing. I know his music chops are strong but the music made the whole film melodramatic. This is what gives it the syrupy feel. The screenplay is not interesting at all and presents characters in a particular light with little context. It's a good idea for a film, whose story structure has been done before. It lacks more the depth in writing to really draw you deep into the characters whose lives are on edge.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Split (IX) (2016)
4/10
Pretty Standard stuff for the most part.
1 May 2017
I'm in most of the courts of the people that said this is bad. This was pretty much middle of the road when it comes to this kind of thriller or "horror". Cool idea regarding the disorder stuff. But, this runs with the movies like I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER et al. The way the characters react to surviving and stuff like that. We are much smarter than that and the same old tropes that we see in characters are just annoying. Even down to young girls running around with no bras. So old. We can give it a couple of pts for the last seen just on principle. But as a film I am not in the court that says M. Night is back. But I don't give it a 1 cause the script although with some non plausible concepts was still there.
10 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Chappie (2015)
3/10
Not happening
10 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
First, we must put it on the table. Chappie is racist using stereotypical affectations of culture to make him cute and cool. He chooses to emulate the speech patterns of someone who wants to do him the most harm. He wears gold chains, moves his body in this "hip", "urban", "black", "street", etc way. It just looks bad. I think the concept of transferring consciousness is really interesting and bodes more exploration. I would have liked it a lot more if the appropriations of Black culture were not used to express Chappie's mode of communication. It's just a very stereotypical method of conveying humanness. It was disappointing.
2 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Unfriended (2014)
3/10
Not worth it really
10 May 2015
Don't go see this movie until you can see it for free. It wasn't really worth the $1.50 I spent. I was disappointed. If you like or love horror films, and I mean really are into horror this will not fill that itch. It's not scary at all. There is a cool concept of the whole film shot on social media, that's a cool concept but there is very very little tension, it's not very subtle or anything. Just plain not scary. If you're into things that are REALLY HIGH SCHOOL AND TEEN BULLYING then have a go. I heard these guys on npr say that the movie works. I now have a great evaluation of the critics on that show. Not good. It's more comical than anything. I had to go see Run All Night to erase this movie's taste from my mind.
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
The Babadook (2014)
5/10
Well done but really not scary.
11 December 2014
It's been awhile since I've posted a review so I hope this helps. I did not come away from this film feeling haunted. A strong, mind that I did not say great, film leaves me with a feeling of dread even after the film. It really has to make me feel uneasy while watching and keeps my eyes glued to the screen. Lucky McGee's The Woman did that. The Babadook did not. It was well done in the sense that it sets the mood for bad things to happen but it did not push through all the way toward terror and dread. Jennifer Kent did a great job in her first film both in writing and direction. I would say Andres Muschietti's Mama had a stronger feel for horror. I'm not a fan of the stereotypical woman who is generally weak in the face of major horrific issues whether they be internal or external. And this may be My problem. One, a soft female protagonist and Two, the origin of the evil force. I went on the statement put out by William Friedkin that this was a great horror film. Friedkin's endorsement was the impetus since I rank The Exorcist as the greatest horror film of all time. Alien is next. Both have smart, strong female characters that face an evil that is external to their understanding of reality. So The Babadook scores low for me there. My criticism is probably more a result of my preference than what the film really delivers to a general audience. I cannot see why anyone would give it one or two stars. I think you have to have a bad looking film for that. But, I thought the mood that Kent sets was great it just didn't send me over into that dreaded feeling. And I surely didn't think about it once the film was over.
8 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A Haunting in Georgia (2002 TV Movie)
2/10
Bad re-enactment
1 October 2014
This is a bad film. We know we have re-enactments and the real people who experience this as talking heads. But, what the film does is repeat scenes to extend the length of the film so to get sold or something. They just show the scenes over to take the place of actual filming. The film follows reality shows like Ghost Adventures to show actual paranormal phenomena. The filmmakers use re-enactments to show the audience what happened to the family at that time. By using what seems to be the actual people the story comes off as weak. The cut aways to lightning and clouds moving fast just emphasizes the cheapness that this movie was made. It seems to have been made in the '80s but finally edited and put together and sold/released in 2002. Someone must have forgotten about this film, remembered it then put it together. This is a cheat. Don't watch it unless it's free.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Black Coffee (I) (2014)
3/10
Bad movie.
9 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This was a bad movie. In the bookstore the camera rarely moved. The same establishing shot showing the door was used each time. That says the filmmaker was lazy. Same thing for every scene that takes place where the cousin was selling coffee. The scenes were long and talkie and they weren't funny or poignant. SO MUCH talking. Basic tenet in film is, "show me, don't tell me." This was a high school film done with a better camera. It's telling when the editor is not listed on the IMDb page. The pacing coupled with the unnecessary long dialogue scenes just made it excruciating to watch. The writing for the characters was atrocious. In the 21st century a Black female confident in her abilities entrepreneur lawyer is going to let some man cock block her life? Not buying it. And our painter has to move in on the lawyer on the pick up mode from jump. Beautiful woman discount indeed. Clichéd and stereotypical. The soundtrack was sappy and not happening. Just a bad film all the way around.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Godzilla (2014)
5/10
We want Godzilla, not sappy emotional reunions
3 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I'm going to give this a 5 because it's Godzilla. He is the greatest monster in movies of all time. I love how he states this in the movie. It' a like he does a most muscular pose in making his point.

The main problem, and there were many, was that there just wasn't enough of him. We don't want to see sappy family reunions, we want to see the baddest monster of all time. He is the god of monsters and it's him we want to see. Ken Watanabe stands around the whole movie looking stunned and amazed. He was never proactive yet he has the most info on the monsters of anyone in the film. And the whole thing about the military firing guns. It's like they have no idea what they're up against, as if guns will help. That's just a leap of logic in 2014. If you know a weapon has no use, the military in that context is impotent, so more intelligent and creative methods should have been shown to initiate military operations.The whole family sappy film stuff is just too much. When did I feel the most emotion, not when the family got reunited I'll tell you that. I teared up a little at the other moment. If you like Godzilla you'll know when. The movie was 30 minutes too long.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Magic Mike (2012)
4/10
This is not good.
22 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This is not good. How do Dallas and Brooke hook up at the end of the film? How???!!!! They never had anything close going on anytime before. They only had this light banter comedy thing but never EVER did they show any closeness as in, "I think we have a thing for each other." WTF. All she did was bash him. She never offered anything of herself. What did she bring to the relationship? This was bogus.

Dallas should have bolted, did okay in the future, not great, but doing what he wanted to do. When I saw that he was crying and driving to her I said, "Oh hell naw!" That was bogus writing and a bogus ending. How does he go to someone who only broke him down and never gave anything of herself? We don't even like her. They never had any romance, yet at the end it comes, like out of the blue from Mars and she's all in. Bull!!!! I haven't been on User Reviews for awhile but this movie just chapped my hide. Yeah, I gave it a 4 because the dancing was good, the music(original and selected artist singles) was above average and MM was solid. CT was good.

And nice try editor/cinematographer(SS) trying to pass NoHo for Tampa in the "...your sister was there" drive with Dallas and the Kid.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Hodejegerne (2011)
8/10
No Mickey Mousing here. Who's going to get got.
12 March 2013
Excellent film. I came to know about this film from looking at the company web site Yellow Bird which is the same company that produces Annika Bengston:Crime Reporter(Saw both on Netflix) which I am very fond of. Do not sleep on this film. After you watch you'll go, "I bet some US company is going to remake this film." (I've come to know that Mark Wahlberg was blown away by it and wants to remake it with him as the lead). The script is sharp and quick and keeps things moving. It has a sort of Usual Suspects appeal in that you try to figure out who's on what side. But my strong suggestion is if you like thrillers this is for you. Also, beware that there are some excruciating scenes. But this is one you WANT TO SEE. See the Original. One thing I like about these Scandinavian films is that it's always dark and cold. You just can't get away from the feel of the environment. As it should be. I hate things always warm and sunny.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Pacing be damned. "Hipster Horror" not so hip.
30 January 2012
I was planning on seeing this film again only because I had seen it a couple of years ago and thought, maybe, with its major release and subsequent feature in the NYT focus on "hipster horror" it had gone through some re-editing to cure the very lethargic pacing the film had. I see by the reviews that a re-edit has not been done. A previous film by the director/writer/editor called Trigger Man had the same process; slow pacing for 7/8ths of the film then, for the last 1/8th "all hell breaks loose". Sort of lulling you to sleep the increase the dynamic of the explosion at the end. The main two characters in Innkeepers were annoying and goofy. The comedy which is really the feature was not funny (or only funny to a slim focus of the audience). This film will be difficult to watch if you are not accustomed to slow plodding story lines. I fell asleep and had to re-wind which says a lot.
0 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Sorry, Thanks (2009)
4/10
Movie made for and about the filmmakers who made it.
12 December 2011
This movie seems like it was made by film students whose lives are like this and they got a kick out of putting it on film. The actors/characters just seemed like people they liked, thought were cool, and wanted to put them in a movie. The photography was competent enough but the direction and editing left it in the realm of many independent films that have a lot of non essential scenes that do not push the story forward. There were enough scenes of devoid of both verbal and non-verbal acting. An attempt to carry a "moral' character that was to straighten the hero out and get him to get his s**t together but that never really seemed to take hold. The antihero protagonist character was just annoying but I can see how the filmmakers who like that kind of character feel great about seeing him in a movie. He's cool to them. But just not to most people.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
"Please...step away from the meat" Spoilers!
16 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
That was the funniest line in the movie, and sadly the movie is just OK. I was upset when I heard that Lions Gate was going to dump this flick on DVD. I even wrote Joe Drake an email pleading that it get a regular release. (he's probably laughing at me right now) I stood in line with a butt load of folks to see the midnight screening last night at the Nuart in Los Angeles. I stood next to the director. I was standing near the writer too (who seemed either drunk or stoned when he first walked in, but then, maybe that's just how he is on the regular). I was excited. This was the one time it would play in a theater near me.

I saw it.

A couple of problems for me.

1. Pacing. There seemed to be scenes that slowed the story down and derailed the momentum. I wanted to feel like the protagonist was spiraling into a world that he should not have knowledge of, and yet he is drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Perhaps more editing. Especially the love scenes.

2. The Girlfriend. Men, please stop making women in your movies cliché, shrill and annoying. There were forced love scenes and quite frankly, the actress added to the slow pacing. She should've been proactive and supportive of the leads journey into hell. And do we need to see women falling down while running away YET AGAIN?! Conflict is essential in a story, but it should be natural conflict that pushes the story forward, not contrived and coming off as nagging. Every time she came on screen I just waited for her to get off screen to get our guy back into the story. Side note, I thought Brooke Shields should've been the chick. She was great. Cold. Calculating. The type that would push her man further into the pit. That's the woman the lead needed, and he got the stereotypical girly-girl. Boo!!!! 3. The Butcher. He was creepy, but I felt that we shouldn't have seen him fully until halfway through the movie. The scary moments in any film is the fear of not knowing. In this movie we got glimpses of the Butcher, creating tension and fear for Kaufman. But soon after we see him fully as a regular human who kills people, it moved from horror into a slasher-suspense movie. It should've been more than that. The supernatural element should've been pushed more with The Butcher. The short story presented something epic and ancient in scope. The Butcher was a necessary job that had to be done to keep The City running. Once the film became a simple slasher-gore fest (which is not bad in any movie as long as the story works with it and we care about the leads), the Butcher just became a run-of-the-mill serial killer, no different than Jason, Michael Meyers or Freddy Fruger. Those guys did their killings for revenge. The Butcher has to kill to keep order in the human world. Just like ancient Greeks and Romans and other cultures that made human sacrifices to appease the Gods, an offering if you will.

That was the reveal in the short story. In the movie, he just kills for some nasty monsters we barely see at the end. Bad! The Butcher had noble work to do. Nasty work yes, (like any butcher in real life who kills the meat for society to consume. Most people eat burgers and steaks without thinking about what has to be done to the animals that provide that great meal. Please, go visit a slaughterhouse.)but it must be done for the rest of us to survive. This movie missed that point at the end.

4. Some of the kill sequences were just there to see how cool the CGI effects could be done. It stopped being scary to becoming typical Eli Roth/Saw 3-5 schlock. How many cool ways can we kill a person? Horror, to me anyway, should be horrific, not funny. Once it becomes funny at the expense of not really scaring people, then you've lost me. Granted, one of the funniest lines in the movie was when the subway train conductor tells Kaufman (after the train has ended its run) "Please, step away from the meat." The humor is surreal and it works at that moment because of the banality of the line. The conductor could've been saying, "Please step away from the ramp/shoe/dog etc". The conductor has a job to do, and so does the Butcher, so please step away from our work. Classic.

All that said, the movie is a mixed bag. I'd be curious to see what Clive Barker had to say. The film looks great, nice atmosphere, set design etc. I might've recast the two leads, but I'm glad I got to see it in a theater. I had the opportunity to get a real movie experience with the film.
43 out of 65 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Cloverfield (2008)
8/10
Monsters Return, Yes!
19 January 2008
Let's start out with this. This is an 8 out of 10 film. And yes, I will see it again. It's really great to see the standard monster come back to horror. Outside of The Host we have missed the creation of a really good monster movie and this is it. Like The Host, somewhat, the concentration of the film is from ordinary people, who are a few in millions being attacked. It does not take the stance of "the authorities" and follow where the monster came from and how it can be killed. See Godzilla. But the key to the film is the camera. As has been talked about much about Cloverfield, the Blair Witch perspective does much to lend a sense of claustrophobia and hence extreme tenseness to watch the film. Blair Witch & Cloverfield really concentrate your attention to the fact that you do not have peripheral vision. The camera acts as your eyes. Your normal eye sight allows you to have peripheral vision. Now the camera, in Blair Witch & Cloverfield, having replaced your eyes allows you to see like your real eyes but with the peripheral sight taken away. Your overall vision reduced, makes you very tense and uncertain of even what's right next to you. That's what you feel in Cloverfield. Get some horse blinders and walk around for a day and see how uncertain you feel. That's the visceral response that you get. The camera is greatly used also in the reveal of the monster. You never really get a good look, much like the first Alien film. That also heightens the tension. The dialogue is just enough to keep the pace going. Without the dialogue, the urgency in the voice, the pace of the film would be slower. Just the action alone would make it more difficult to maintain the frantic pace needed. Of course my only knocks on the film are the traditional. Women crying and emotional. Do all women cry and get emotional in the face of danger? Naw. See 28 Days. The sappy parts do slow down the film even if it's just a little bit. Looking into your lover's eyes can wait. Death is near and it could be a painful, ugly one. Get out! Why don't people run like hell when they can obviously see that what is coming is bigger and badder than they could ever comprehend? People run!! This is something terrible. Go See Cloverfield!
1 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Disappointing and over-hyped.
1 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I enjoyed "Fargo" which I feel is their best work, but "No Country" was boring. The acting was fine, but the story just didn't inspire me. Usually a really good movie makes me want to go out a write ( I am a screenwriter myself). It gives me hope that there are some good stories out there being made into film. But this one...I dunno, it was like someone put a lump of cookie dough onto a baking sheet, and the cookie didn't bake. So you're left with a lump of..cookie dough. I got up in the middle of the movie to buy popcorn and a soda, used the restroom just to entertain myself. I NEVER do that at a good movie. I stay planted and aware. But I had to get away from it for a few minutes. Thank God we didn't pay a lot to see it.

I'm not going to go all out intellectual on this puppy, because frankly, I don't have th energy to nitpick every detail, so I'll skim over a few things that bugged me. I've read some of the other postings by fans of the movie. It seems that the few folks who dislike the film are accused of not "understanding" the greatness of the Coen brothers themes on violence in America..blah,blah,blah. I love movies, seen a lot (foreign and American made) so the reality is, this movie didn't work FOR ME. It bored me, left me uninspired and I regret that I didn't wait until DVD. Potential "spoiler area" ahead. You were warned.

1. They did try something interesting, which is kill off a lead character by the third act. But Tommy Lee Jones's character was not that interesting to sustain the last section of the film. As a writer, I applaud the bait and switch technique of taking out a character that we've followed from the beginning. However, having Tommy's monologue at the beginning, and showing him later in the film does not help sustain his presence once his character takes over in the third act. Plus, his being an old gunslinger weary from the battle is old. I kept wondering if the dynamic would've shifted dramatically had this been a younger sheriff. Every time Tommy Lee came on screen, I just got tired because who looked so drained. I understand this was probably an attempt to be the "message" of the film, (How do old folks deal with changes they can't fathom?), but I've seen that too many times.

2."Quirky" dialogue by the killer and potential victims was not enough to pull this clunker together. As stand alone vignettes at a short film festival, it would've been entertaining. But to string them throughout two hours kills me, and smacks of pretentious dribble. Perhaps if they had opened up the film with that scene in the gas station, prior to us knowing who Bardem's character is, it would've set a tone of unease, given us the rules of the killer's world.Prepared us with the sense of dread whenever he appears then cut to his short capture, and then onto the idiot Moss and his discovery. For this project, I didn't buy it. It smells like a writing technique/device to razzle dazzle us so we don't notice that nothing is really happening.

3. Stupid people do stupid things and kill any chance of me rooting for them. Moss was plain stupid. Although this is set in 1980, don't make the person who we follow in the story stupid. You find money. You take it. You do NOT go back in the middle of the night to bring a man water, A man who you left in the hot desert sun all day. If your conscience bothers you that much, make a call to the police, and you leave town with your wife outside of Texas. What a bonehead. Once you've made the decision to steal the goods, you check the goods and make sure you can't be traced. (the fact that Moss said " I know what a transmittor is" but doesn't check for one, or even dye pellets inside the money, dude you are a screw up and deserve your fate).

4. It just sucked for me. I can't even put my finger on why this flick sucked for me. The cinematography was okay but not that impressive to make up for the story. The acting was okay, but no one in it made me jump up and proclaim "Dagnabit! That boy deserves an Oscar!". The best I could say is that this honestly could've been a made-for-TV movie. The violence was minimal. The cattle prod-gun was cool the first time you see it, but then I started thinking "You're lugging that thing around, and no one notices? You pull a man over in a cop car, but you have no uniform and you have a cattle prod air tank with you, and the yahoos in town just look at you?" More than anything, this movie made Texans look like dumb hicks. (maybe this explains Bush's background) So those are my main reasons for disliking the film. I've heard loving reviews of the theme of the hunter and the hunted, a killer with no conscience and the sheriff with morality leaking out of his a$$. It's all lies I tell you! It is hyped "blah", just like "The Departed" was last year. Any talk of Oscar Buzz is undeserved in my opinion. In it's place I would recommend "Eastern Promises".
37 out of 57 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
This movie was not good
18 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
****Spoilers.**** Watch the original. Filmmakers sold out in this one. No one should survive. Dumb characters. Everybody runs out when dad catches fire. Mothers, are you really going to run out without your baby? Dumb. No one is aware of daughter when she doesn't come out when dad is on fire? Dumb. Son doesn't let everyone know that dog #1 has been filleted. Dumb. Practically everyone in film is lame. Ex-detective dad starts shooting without seeing who he is shooting at. Dumb. Son goes off half cocked and shoots into the dark. Son gets all McGiver after most of family is destroyed. Son goes to look for his mother, when taken, finds her and monster who has taken her and is now eating her, then starts running away. Dude, isn't that what you came looking for? Son in Law doesn't kill person who took his baby therefore she gets to come back and whack him in the head. Dumb. This was made for 9 year olds. Can we have a film where little pretty girls don't start becoming hysterical? Dumb. And these guys were great with Haute Tension. This one is bad. I gave it a 2. I rarely give films such a low rating, when I do it's because I was thoroughly disgusted. It wasn't smart, It wasn't scary and the kills weren't all that great.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Hard Candy (2005)
3/10
This was not a good movie
25 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I think whenever dialogue in a film is acerbic or sarcastic in the vain of CSI it's not a good movie. It's that type of cute, witty script that turned me off from that original CSI. In fact the female character sounded like Jorja Fox, from the aforementioned TV show, and her quick repartee compounded the irritation. Fourteen year old girl has all the angles figured out. Thirty two year old man is a "tool". He's able to escape only after the supposed "surgical deed" has occurred. Has opportunity to escape and/or call police, doesn't and attempts to take things into his own hands and deal with the child on his own. Gets duped again and finds himself in a hangman's noose, that has been expertly configured by the highly intellectual and very strong 80lb Fourteen year old girl. Implausible. The pedophile is the character you cheer for and you want to kill the Fourteen year old. She's endlessly philosophical and witty about why she is doing this and throughout the whole process "psychologically" breaking him down. "I am every little girl you ever watched, touched, hurt..." That kind of dialogue is just too cliché. At 9minutes and 34 seconds into this thing I didn't like her and was waiting for the end. She was too smart and witty for a fourteen year old. The film went on and on and there was not much thrill at all. Hand held camera shots a la music vidoes don't thrill me either. These Sundance Lab projects tend to get a lot of hype but end up so disappointing. See the Woodsman for film on pedophilia.
12 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
An attempt at a remake of an understated classic smart "thriller"
2 September 2006
Don't. Just....don't. There are so many problems with this movie. What's bad is that you have really quality actors who could pull it off. Burstyn looks great and is a great actor. Cage the same. Leelee looks like she was just thrown in. That was a waist. At least put her in as the bar wench. Having the community cast in such a mysterious light was wrong. The key element to the original was that the lifestyle led on the isle was normal but different from society on the mainland. This is not horror. The original was not horror but more of a thriller. I will direct you to my friend blakndn's analysis of the film you can view on this board. I cannot go on further.
5 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
The Descent (2005)
9/10
Great Scary Movie
22 July 2006
Rented this movie from eddie brandts in L.A. back in March on VHS no less on recommendation of the clerk, "bless her soul". I was a big fan of Dog Soldiers so when I heard that this was the director's next effort I was all over it. This is what a scary movie is all about. Depending on what is shown in US theaters you probably will be getting the shaft. I am going to see it again to see what changes were made to satisfy US audience. This movie gives credence that the best horror/scary films come from abroad and when they do they have to be altered decreasing the value of the film. (see Haute Tension). If you are a fan of the scary movie do yourself the favor and go see the Descent. It's many times greater than the Cave.
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Horrible, Horrible, HORRIBLE!
28 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Just saw this at the L.A. Film Festival, where most of the cast (minus Snoop) were in attendance. This is the worst piece of crap I've seen since I saw "Head Trauma" last week.

Snoop should never, ever be in a movie again. He is a caricature of himself. I remember the days when his sneer used to frighten white folks, but now he's their favorite fake-a** pimp! WTF!? If Snoop's in a movie, it automatically drops to "D" level entertainment. Sorry Snoop, stick to rapping, homie.

The animation was not very good, but I figured the budget was uber-low. The pacing was ultra slow, and the dialogue was corny. If this was supposed to be horror with jokes (like "Shaun of the Dead") the jokes were one note stereotypes. Nothing original. Just rent "Tales From the Hood". It's the same movie only worse...much worse. Fangoria magazine gave it high marks, but I warn you, for the love of decent horror, stay away! I will never trust Fangoria again.

You know a movie isn't happening when the ONLY entertainment is the clever ways people can be killed. And even that gets old. Plot motivations were null and void, there were times when Snoop cuts into a scene and starts talking about bullsh*t that doesn't move the story forward and kills the pacing yet again. The ending is like an extended music video with Snoop rapping about the various crap scenes we just saw. So you are forced to re-live the pain again.

Out of respect for the cast, I kept my groans inside, but if I see that director or writer again, I will slap them both. I'm out here killing myself to write decent horror scripts with great stories and characters, and this turd gets made?
5 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Waist Deep (2006)
Great Pacing as a straight action flick.....**Minor Spoiler Alert at the end
23 June 2006
Saw this last night at the L.A. Film festival. Only went because it was FREE, but was pleasantly surprised at the pacing. There were implausible moments and a cheesy drawn out cell phone conversation..in the middle of a police chase, with a hackneyed "Shawshank Redemption"/ "Thelma & Louise" ending, but Tyrese Gibson and Megan Goode draw you in and make you want to see where this thing goes. They look great and had chemistry.

(Megan, it's time for you to do more films like "Brick". I think you have the range to break out in some different roles outside off 'hood flicks)

Kimora Lee Simmons is hilarious in her cameo. She may need to do a movie herself! Just check out the way she curls her lip when she gets an unwanted man in her house. I will have to add her performance to my collection of "Great Actor Scenes that stand out by themselves"

There are clichés galore, and one scene I found insulting to elderly black women. (Megan's character calls a grandmotherly-looking black woman the "B-word". It was funny in an earlier scene where Megan Goode's character is called one off screen for holding up traffic, but it doesn't work when used on an old woman in a bank. Kasi, you shoulda told Vondie to drop that line!)

Lastly, I always laugh when I see so-called "gangsters" making money hand over foot with their hustling,but they never move to nicer areas? You have thousands of dollars stashed in safety deposit boxes and $250,000 worth of jewelry, and you still live in a jacked up house in the worst parts of L.A.? Dumb.

Hunter Hall who plays the kidnapped son is a cute little boy, but his acting was stilted and unnatural in several scenes to the point of being distracting. But he sure does look like his momma! (Kasi, you need to be in more movies! We miss you!)

This movie is strictly popcorn fun. As Mr. Vondi Curtis Hall stated before showing his film last night, "This is a movie, not necessarily a film" in the artsy-fartsy sense. Most critics have been complaining that it's hodge-podge of various genres, but it works for what it tries to do: tell the journey of a single-parent father trying to save his son at all costs. How often do you get to see that? **(And the brother survives? Shee-itt!)

Lessons learned from this flick? You can shoot and kill a handful of bad people, rob empty houses in the Hollywood Hills because a half naked girl can fool police, and you can drive to Mexico and live happily ever after in a Malibu-styled beach house without a passport, just a bag full of money. Let me get my glock!
8 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Everything (II) (2004)
9/10
Great Cinema
17 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This film was great because the story was great and the two principal actors gave excellent performances. The core of the film is not about Richard but about Naomi. Richard provides the back story, or 2nd story, but the primary story is Naomi. The story is summed up in a nutshell on Naomi's face the last night that she is with Richard. The film moves from Naomi's "professional facade" uncaring and detached to one of openness and caring. As Naomi spends time with her young prostitute friend it provides her a path on which to walk toward a new openness. The soundtrack is great and the script is sharp. Using available light and many times a hand-held camera Richard Hawkins fashioned a great piece of cinema. Do yourself a favor and see this film. Then ask yourself why can't their be films like this in the U.S.? Save for Brokeback Mountain, small stories with few characters can be as entertaining and enlightening as big productions. The filmmaker of Everything made a great film.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

Recently Viewed