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8/10
Kato Kicks Booty (But Britt Reid Is Cool Too)
4 February 2011
I know. I hear you out there. You're screaming "SETH ROGEN ISN'T FUNNY!" And until this movie, I would have agreed with you. He seemed to play the same lovable (and probably brain fried) dope in every film, and it was such a one note song I was ready for someone to pop the CD out and snap it in two. SURPRISE - this is a movie where Seth Rogen's comedic sensibility actually makes SENSE. He's the spoiled little rich kid who always hated his daddy, who by the grace of bad legal advice (seriously who would leave a publishing empire to their spoiled brat with no strings attached) winds up with a fortune. What to do with unlimited money and craploads of free time? At first he gets even with daddy dearest. Then he decides getting even with REAL bad guys is much more fun. And that's the key to "The Green Hornet" circa 2011 - it's an unapologetic unbridled romp through fun. It's a movie full of gadgets that would make even Q of James Bond fame blush, packed with drug pushing, gun-toting baddies who get their deserved comeuppance despite Britt's relative ineptitude - all thanks to his faithful sidekick Kato. Along the way though Britt discoveries his humanity, regrets his selfish ways, and does so in a way that thankfully DOESN'T come across as preachy condescending Hollywood moralistic crap. Just when you think this movie is going to run out of gas and/or laughs, the big swerve leaves you punch drunk and enthusiastically cheering for the good guys. I was disappointed when there was no bonus scene after the credits - I stayed until the end hoping for one more scene with Britt and Kato hamming it up. That to me is as good an endorsement for why to see this film as you can get.
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7/10
Visually spectacular, but...
22 December 2007
When this movie popped up on MojoHD I went into it with an open mind since I've always been a huge fan of "Time Bandits," which also happens to be one of the first movies I threw a fit about as a kid when someone accidentally taped over it. Needless to say I've had that film burned into my brain ever since, bought it on DVD as soon as I could, and have professed my love of it repeatedly to friends who watched with me and either "didn't get it" or thought the end was weird and depressing.

Those same friends would probably appreciate Baron Munchausen more since it does have an unambiguous feel-good ending, but at over two hours long I felt the movie had a tendency to drag on. In a day and age where every video at Ye Locale Box Store is "UNRELEASED DIRECTOR'S CUT WITH ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE" I simply can't imagine this movie being any longer. There are plenty of times when you wish they'd cut to the point, as even a dunce can figure out what's going to happen when Baron and the Sultan make a bet with a treasury payoff of "as much as the strongest man can carry." Given the chance I also would have sacked the entire segment with the Baron and Venus. I was positively bored to tears by the whole thing and Uma Thurman was much more attractive in Pulp Fiction.

The movie is visually stunning, especially given the quality of special effects at the time it was filmed, and Robin Williams was an unexpected and pleasant surprise as the King of the Moon. Regardless I repeatedly found myself wondering if Terry Gilliam was in command of all his faculties directing this film, as the kind of zany he espouses is best done in shotgun Monty Python fashion. They say no one expects the Spanish Inquisition, but expect to settle in with more than one box of popcorn and several (caffeinated) beverages for Baron Munchausen - a movie I'd have happily rated one to two notches higher if they had kept all of the same actors and special effects but trimmed out more of that fat.
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Shark Tale (2004)
4/10
It had all the right ingredients...
28 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Start with DreamWorks. You all know them as the new kings of movie animation, the crew who brought you Shrek and Shrek 2. Add in a heaping helping of all-star vocal talent from Will Smith to Jack Black, from Renee Zellweger to Angelina Jolie. Sprinkle in what should be an obvious "rags to riches" tale about a poor fish named Oscar who makes good, only to find out the good life isn't what it's cracked up to be. With all those ingredients the end result should be a tasty morsel of a movie, but the only thing these sharks take a bite out of is your wallet. What's really surprising about this film is that with the previous deft hand the DW crew showed at appealing to both kids and adults by mixing slapstick and action with romance and subtle (and occasionally naughty) jokes, this time they manage to not hit any of the marks. Sure this film is "cute" but unless you are taking very young children to the theatre, cute alone isn't enough to shell out $10 for let alone cut it as a rental or a take-home purchase. Cute is quickly replaced by vapid. The over-the-top stereotypes quickly become offensive, from rastafarian jellyfish who talk jive to Italian mobster sharks complete with a "don" voiced by Robert DeNiro (and he should be ashamed of this role). The storyline hints at a desire to delve deeper into issues of class and disenfranchisement, but Will Smith's hammy dialogue keeps you from taking him OR this movie seriously. And seriously, who decided fish should emote? They are not exactly the best choice for conveying a range of complex emotions, but those poor schelps who spent tens of thousands of man hours at computers animating this dreck tried anyway. In fact they even tacked on a pointless short for the home release where all the fish and sharks "get jiggy" in the film's car/whale wash, turning into a nightclub for the evening. What this movie proved to me is that even when you follow a perfect recipe, you can make a mediocre product. Repeat viewings are not necessary, and you may even feel once is too much by the end. Save for the sparks of life Jack Black gave this movie as a misunderstood shark who wants to eat plants instead of animals there's almost nothing memorable about "Shark Tale"; that is to say there's nothing memorable in a GOOD way. Recommended for the youngest and most naive of viewers only.
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8/10
Critically acclaimed or not, this comedy hits the spot
30 June 2005
When people think of the long legacy of Richard Pryor as a comedian, this film may not be at the top of the list. He has achieved greater heights personally and professionally elsewhere. Many Pryor fans may have skipped over this one altogether with a catalog of films to choose from that include luminaries from "Car Wash" to "Stir Crazy" to "Harlem Nights." That's unfortunate really, because as comedic performances go, Pryor strikes pure gold in this unheralded film. His manic energy, his sheer frustration with the impossibility of his dilemma (spend 30 million dollars until you are dead broke and not have a single penny or asset left at the end, in order to inherit three HUNDRED million) and the fact that he channels so much believability into what would otherwise be absurd are highly laudable. With an excellent supporting cast that included the likes of John Candy and Jerry Orbach, it's hard to imagine anyone too jaded to enjoy this film. It's ridiculous and over the top, to be sure, but it's also supremely funny in a way much more pretentious comedies can't touch. Pryor breathes life into the film and the film glows as a result. Whether it's on your personal "best comedy" list or not, it's not a film you can easily excuse not watching whether a Pryor fan or not. From third rate baseball playing bum, to toast of the town millionaire, back to a bum again before a highly rewarding ending comedically and emotionally, "Brewster's Millions" pulls off the best trick of all - it makes the viewer feel like a million bucks for having watched it.
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2/10
Hercules: Uninteresting
23 June 2005
Even as a Mystery Science Theater 3000 send-up, this one falls flat if you watch it more than once. The riffing of Joel and the bots is still entertaining, but it can't disguise the fact this film is pretty thin on usable plot and relies mostly on Steve Reeves rugged looks to sustain itself. Think Tom Cruise in "Days of Thunder" and you'll see what I mean. As painful as this movie is with their jokes, it would be completely intolerable without them. From cheesy costumes to badly dubbed dialogue to acting even high school drama teachers would turn their noses up at, this movie is like a 1970's kung-fu flick minus the saving grace of people getting their butts kicked. In fact for a so-called Hercules movie, it's long on bad dialogue and short on good action. If you're going to watch something called Hercules you'd actually be better off seeing the animated Disney film.
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Superman III (1983)
5/10
It's not as bad as Superman IV
13 November 2001
It features Robert Vaughn as an evil megalomaniac, and Richard Pryor as a down-on-his-luck bum turned brilliant software programmer. As implausible as these things are, they actually make the film interesting compared to what it could have been. Imagine "Cotton Comes to Harlem" meets Carl Andterton from "Law & Order" and you have the movie otherwise known as Superman III - it's still better than IV.
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2/10
A long night's journey to the middle of nowhere..
21 October 2001
Aside from the charming and somewhat comedic performance of Jerry O'Connell (best remembered for his role on the popular sci-fi show "Sliders") as the astronaut "Phil", this movie is perhaps the saddest waste of $4 for a matinee ticket I ever spent. A truly awful movie, with a completely unbelievable plot, and heroes that are so loathesome you constantly pray for bad things to happen to them and cheer when they do. The once charming Tim Robbins, who so impressed me in "Shawshank Redemption", sinks to an all time career low in this dismal sci-fi flop, and the normally entertaining Gary Sinise fares little better. While both have enough standing in Hollywood for this fecal matter to not be a career ender, it certainly won't add any luster to their resumes. Here's a plot summary: idiots go to Mars, idiots die, idiots chase after any survivors - in other words the whole thing is truly idiotic. One suspects that this is exactly the kind of film Alex was subjected to in "Clockwork Orange" when he was forcefed drugs with his eyelids propped open. I don't know whether it's more horrifying that I paid money to see it or that a movie this bad got made in the first place.
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8/10
Comedy magnifique!
21 October 2001
I normally don't go for non-English films for a variety of reasons; among them the fact I feel I'm doing the actors and filmmakers a disservice by not being able to understand a film without subtitles. For this film however I am not only happy to make an exception I can honestly say the comedy is so good I might have understood +without+ the english subtitles! The facial expressions of the actors involved are as priceless as the ridiculous situations they get themselves into. Just when you think you've got it all sorted out, the writers of the screenplay up the ante in ironically hilarious twists the likes of which are rarely seen in your average Hollywood comedies full of punchlines and quips and non-existant plots. Even at the film's very end when the so-called "idiot" has proven how wrong people were about him, he commits one last great gaffe that screams "STUPID!" and will have you rolling on the floor. Forget Julia Roberts, forget Woody Allen, and forget Chris Tucker - if you want really good laughs rent or buy "The Dinner Game" (American release title) and enjoy a wry comedy you won't soon forget.
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5/10
Pacino, Pacino, Pacino
21 October 2001
If you're a fan of Al Pacino's work as an actor, or fond of the first two installments of "The Godfather", this movie is worth seeing on either basis. Unfortunately for both the series and the actor this is not a GREAT movie. It suffers more by comparison to it's preceding chapters, but even as a stand alone film it would still be weak. It seems ironic that this is the movie that Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola supposedly collaborated on the most closely; but being over 10+ years removed from the success of Part II ultimately has as much or more to do with why this film suffers. A great cast is assembled, a great director is at work, and a great writer collaborated on it - and yet instead of being hot the film can only best be called tepid. The one driving force that keeps it interesting is Pacino's dilemma as Michael - can he save his soul and his family at the same time? It serves as a rather poignant contrast to his role in "The Devil's Advocate" so if you've only seen one I recommend renting the other.
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9/10
George Lucas is gonna SUE! :)
9 September 2001
While "Dogma" brought wry humor to deeply religious convictions and serious morality issues; and "Clerks" was a brilliant farce exposing the mundane world of convenience stores; J&SB is just.. funny. There's really no point to the film, other than the comic misadventures of Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith as they try to stop Hollywood from making a movie about them (for no better reason than that they don't want to be portrayed as losers and have their reputations ruined). Stars from the other View Askew movies all make humerous cameos, as do actors and actresses from "Star Wars" (so don't worry, George Lucas WON'T sue) and "American Pie." Don't expect anything more profound than "Up In Smoke" or "Clueless" - this is just good ol' fashioned silly fun (age appropriate unfortunately, due to Jay's foul mouth).
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7/10
Maybe it's NOT for purists
9 September 2001
However, being that Heinlein was one of the few sci-fi authors I +didn't+ read (I'm more of an Asimov and Bradbury fan myself) as a kid growing up, and I haven't seen the original film, I didn't have any problems with this movie when it came out in theaters. In fact, I found the premise genuinely creepy, the effects highly believable, and the presence of Donald Sutherland to be a masterful touch. It may not go down in the all-time pantheon of "greatest sci-horror films" ever, but if it was playing on HBO I wouldn't change the channel. Sometimes I think people get too caught up in whether a story is true to the original, and forget that it's JUST a movie and they should try to enjoy it on that basis.
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Mitchell (1975)
1/10
Joe Don Baker at his uhh.. best?
15 June 2001
He drinks. He sneers. He drinks. He eats. He drinks. He fights. And then he has another beer. Beer, it seems, is Joe Don Baker's favorite good group. Fortified with all the essential proteins and vitamins a growing boy needs By the end of this movie you question whether Joe Don Baker is acting like a fat ugly cop, or whether a fat ugly cop is acting like Joe Don Baker - you can't really discern who is portraying who. If there is a redeeming quality to this film it's that Joe doesn't have to work hard to portray a drinking slob - in fact, he seems to have been born to play the role. He likes it by the can, and if you watch this movie you'll like it by the keg. Have one or two and race Joe Don Baker to the finish to see who can get wasted first.
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Eegah (1962)
2/10
Watch out for snakes!
15 June 2001
Truth be told, if it weren't for the wisecracking antics of Tom, Crow and Joel (MST3K) I might not be able to stomach this movie. That said, "Eegah!" still has two things "Manos the Hands of Fate" didn't: Richard Kiel, and no Manos. C'mon, who doesn't love Jaws? You all remember Richard Kiel as the big man with the metal teeth from James Bond; so here's your chance to see him bite through something even more sinister - a terrible screenplay! You gotta admit, when Kiel is on the screen, he really does dominate his surroundings. Kinda makes you wish Shaq and Kiel had been born in the same era - he'd probably be a great center for the Clippers. For the man who might have been (and probably should have been) The Incredible Hulk, this is a worthwhile film; and in all other respects it STINKS. Please don't watch it straight unless you have a group of drunken wisecracking friends; otherwise stick to the MiSTie treatment of this deplorable film.
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10/10
I cried.
8 April 2001
Really, what more can you say than that? When the children of the survivors placed their stones on Schindler's grave at the end, I was touched on a level that no film had reached me at in years. Ignorant people always say it's not manly for a man to cry, but I think if you can watch this film and not come away profoundly changed then you have nothing but cold darkness in your heart. To this day I still can't believe people deny the Holocaust ever happened - that's as ludicrious as saying the Middle Passage is a hoax or that the Trail of Tears is an exaggeration by Native American activists. Bullsh*t. The level of depravity humanity can wreak on one another is heartbreaking, but this movie proves even in the greatest darkness people can STILL find hope.
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10/10
Morgan Freeman's come a LONG way
7 April 2001
This ain't "The Electric Company." Although all of the performances in this film are masterful (showing by turns both the depravity and the humanity of the prison experience) Morgan Freeman's role as "Red" is truly the centerpiece of this film - so good it defies description. All I can say is that of all the movies I own on DVD, this is one of my proudest purchases; a film I can play that not only shows off how good digital quality looks but that shows off how an excellent screenplay and great actors can come together to make a cinematic masterpiece.
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Sugar Hill (1993)
8/10
"Sugar Hill" a must for Snipes fans
7 April 2001
I'm not usually motivated to write a movie critique strictly on the basis of comments of other IMDB users, but in this case I'm forced to respond to the allegations that this movie is basically "a heap of garbage" or words to that effect. Wesley Snipes turns in a very fine performance in this film as a drug dealer who must choose between the allure of being a kingpin or trading in his hustle for a better life with a woman who wants him to change ways. It's an old tale, oft told, but Snipes mastery and an excellent supporting performance by Michael Wright as his brother keep the film on course. The interactions between Snipes and his junkie father are both powerful and tragic and epitomize the conflict in his heart as Snipes' character searches for a better answer to a cold and cruel world. I struggled for years to get a copy of this film on video and when it was finally taken out of the "rental release" category and put in the mainstream I literally jumped for joy. If you love Wesley Snipes you should own this film; if you're just a casual fan but like good drama don't be scared away from renting this by one single IMDB user's negative review.
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TRON (1982)
10/10
Truly a revolutionary film.
7 April 2001
Although I'm sure to many people it seems dated by today's

special effect standards, this movie blew me away as a kid

and still looks sharp and colorful today. The neon futuristic

colors inside the computer world are as trippy as they come;

and even if the acting is not "brilliant" it's certainly more

than qualified to tell a story which is ultimately the age old

battle of good versus evil. These days PG movies which don't

feature animated characters or cute animals seem few and far

between, but "Tron" harkens back to an age when a good film

could be made for all audiences without insulting the intellect

of anyone attending. I'm proud to call this one of the ten

best movies I've ever seen.
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Gang Related (1997)
7/10
Tupac Shakur shines, Lela Rochon whines.
17 September 2000
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is guaranteed to appeal to several groups: fans of Tupac Shakur, fans of "Law & Order" style drama, and fans of gritty movies about bad people who do bad things and get their just desserts. The irony of this film is that even though Tupac portrays one of these "bad" people, you end up rooting for him anyway. That is the power of his acting in this film - his character has a moral conscience, and you keep rooting for him to do the right thing - although inevitably it comes much too late. Also, despite Lela Rochon's constant whining through the film, you really do +want+ to find out whether she lives or dies at the end - it's the only thing this film leaves unrevealed.
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Dogma (1999)
9/10
Like Schoolly D said, "Jesus Was a Black Man"...
2 December 1999
Although the quality of Kevin Smith films generally speak for themselves, I found it interesting that nobody has discussed the many links this hilarious cinematic masterpiece has to hip-hop. From Loki and Bartleby's "wager" about the box-office draw of Krush Groove to Chris Rock's homeboy-from-heaven portrayal of the 13th Apostle (certainly preferable to seeing him play a crack fiend), this film delights in mixing serious religion with a straight up b-boy attitude. The only way this film could have been any more hip is if Puff Daddy had been lambasted as the Anti-Christ instead of Mooby the Cow!
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9/10
Whoa dude!
1 December 1999
Debauchery had yet to be imagined on a scale so grand. Neither the fraternizing of "Animal House", the sexual innuendo of "Revenge of the Nerds" or the laxative-induced toilet humor of "Dumb and Dumber" could even begin to approach this film's supreme depravity.

There is no line imaginable that the film doesn't cross: childhood has never been any less innocent. Even the weak of stomach though may appreciate some of the film's finer moments; such as Bill Gates getting his just desserts or the Baldwin family finally being run out of Hollywood.. the HARD way.

Amazingly the comedic team of Matt and Trey which made the TV show so great even pull cards on the Motion Picture Association; lampooning their ridiculous double standards when it comes to gratuitous sexual body parts while finding it perfectly acceptable to see people's heads blown apart. Undoubtedly they will miss the point, but those of us who have always understood South Park is intelligent satire hidden in chubby cheeked children's pre-adolescent pranks, the message rings happily and funnily true.

For a series which has already been made the most popular animated television show ever (eat your heart out Bart Simpson) and even been nominated for a GLAAD Award promoting acceptance and love towards homosexuals, this send-up of nearly every stereotype and ignorant "hick mountain town" attitude is a crowning achievement. It's really f*****g funny, dude.
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8/10
The Bond film you +don't+ know (and probably should)
1 December 1999
Much ado has been made about the fact that George Lazenby was an inexperienced actor; as unready for a major motion picture as he was for James Bond. This may be true, but it doesn't show in his portrayal of the role. His brief stint probably has more to do with a fickle post-Connery audience and a personal feud with Broccoli than any actual shortcomings on his part. Lazenby handles all the classical Bond elements well: the suave way with women, the witty quips, and the amazing ability to avoid the most tenacious flurry of bullets.

More to the point, this is perhaps the most personal and less "tech happy" of all the Bond films. It's really a shame many Bond fans never have and never will see this classic film. Bond is not just the legendary British agent with a taste for fine champagne and fine girls - he is a committed man who will do anything to save the woman he loves and wants to marry. Ironically and perhaps fittingly, this is the one Bond movie where 007 doesn't really get what he wants. He saves the world, but at a very high cost to himself.

Incidentally, the funniest moments occur during the bobsled shute chase; wherein Bond dispatches one foe to a tree and remarks, "He's branched off," and moments later when he flips off the path and a friendly St. Bernard comes to his rescue. "Never mind that," says Lazenby/Bond when the pooch gives him a lick, "go and get the brandy!"

True James Bond. :)
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The Prophecy II (1998 Video)
3/10
An object lesson in how good movies make bad sequels..
9 September 1999
It's not often I feel compelled to give negative criticism of a film; after all I often feel the maxim, "if you don't have anything good to say don't say it at all," would be apt advice for the many naysayers we listen to everyday who nitpick at things we like. If it's all the same to you the reader though I feel compelled to point out that with the lone exception of Christopher Walken in a returning role as Gabriel this movie is pathetically HORRID. I say this to you to warn you in advance that even if you are a fan of Walken's deadpan delivery and style or liked the original "Prophecy" that you will be sorely dissapointed. If you buy it, return it. If you rent it, make sure it's only ninety-nine cents.

What's wrong with this movie? A full list would take too long to read and would bore you to tears, but a short summary would be the following: the once rather crystalline clear picture of the relationship between angels and mortals of the first film is ripped to shreds. Gabriel is turned from the rather morbid right hand of God he once was (and in this role he is WICKEDLY funny in the first) to little more than a thug for heaven. Since Walken is so good at playing heavies (we all remember Frank White from "King of New York") he is still enjoyable but the supporting cast is an unmitigated and unconvincing mess of mortals and angels alike who couldn't buy a clue for 50 cents. If you can figure out the plot you're a smarter man than I. One gets the feeling we wander aimlessly from scene to scene just to move the film along to Walken's next big line. By the end of the movie you're actually wishing he'd blow his horn and make the walls of Jericho fall on the people who made this un-natural disaster.

Bottom line - it's an insult to our intelligence that they made a sequel to this film in the first place. The original told the right story, answered the questions that should have been, and left alone the ones you were meant to ponder afterwards. There are no compelling reasons to follow these characters that was in the first - the priest who lost his faith, the little girl who kept the "big secret", the teacher who protected her children - even Lucifer himself was more interesting BY himself in the first film than all the other characters in the sequel put together. I feel sorry for anybody who sees this film and not the first because they'll probably never want to watch the original and that's a real tragedy.
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9/10
As compelling as "Seven," and perhaps even darker still..
19 August 1999
The always outstanding Morgan Freeman works with the surprisingly refreshing Ashley Judd (country stars act too?) in "Kiss the Girls," a film which surely DOES make them cry. This is probably the kind of dark, brooding, ominous film which self-styled media critics (themselves members of the media) would like to blame the mass murders of Columbine and the shootings in Georgia and California on - although it's not nearly so psychedelic and mind-altering as "Natural Born Killers." Still this film's portrayal of the psychotic terror that lurks within ALL of us is both compelling and frightening. Freeman seems to have a niche with these sort of films, and I predict in 20 years his name and work will have assumed that of a cult status. This movie is not for young children, and probably not for most adults either - but if you're a fan of the kind of "mindf**k" that films such as "The Blair Witch Project" provide you'll thoroughly enjoy this film. The intelligent will walk away knowing that this experience was not an instructional cookbook for mayhem but rather the portrayal of the same kind of quiet madness that stalks us in the form of Aryan Nation activists and Anti-Semites every day.
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Sugar Hill (1993)
8/10
A must for the Wesley Snipes connoisseur..
8 July 1999
Sex, money, and drugs. Broken families, and broken dreams. You'll recognize the lead character Romello as played by Wesley Snipes right away, but Michael Wright (of +The 5 Heartbeats+ and the TV series 'V: The Final Battle') turns in a strong and compelling performance of his own as Rome's brother Ray Nathan. The action builds slowly, until the kettlepot boils over at the end, so this is not a movie for those lacking patience. It's worth the wait to see Wright and Snipes struggle through their harsh reality, and to see Snipes try in vain to resurrect a family life with his father in the film that didn't exist and never would. Powerful and compelling, you'll want to see this movie more than once.
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10/10
Probably the most twisted film ever made..
8 July 1999
Sick? Insane? Twisted? Genius. All of the following words describe the Stanley Kubrick directed film "Clockwork Orange," the same film which introduced Malcolm McDowell to the world - for that +alone+ the film viewing public can be grateful. His portrayal of the hoodlum Alexander DeLarge (a young man whose principle interests are rap, ultraviolence, and Beethoven) is both powerful and disturbing. Simple minded Congresspersons and civil servants would like to no doubt blame the sick sad world we live in on films such as these; when in fact films like this are the magnifying glass through which society's ills are exposed to harsh light. Alex's own corrections officer is confounded - he has a good home, two parents, something of a brain on his head - why is he such a terror? There's no easy answer; and that rings just as true when you ask why Columbine High or why Oklahoma City. There's no one source, no one reason, and sometimes bad actions really can't be quantified. The film's solution to the Alex "problem" is both horrific and draconian: cure the ill by making the patient ill from the cure.

This film is great on many levels - social commentary, cinematogrophy, even the choice of soundtrack will strike a chord that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. To not see this film once in your life, even as disturbing as it may be, is to do yourself a grave injustice.
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