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Funny! Sweet. GREAT.
24 September 2005
40-Year-Old Virgin is a nearly perfect date movie. It's funny and sweet (but not sickly sweet), with feel-good moments galore. Somehow it manages to be both wacky and yet completely believable. This is a movie that likes all its characters and treats them well, unlike some that use ridicule to generate humor. And for those who might want to debate this movie's "moral message" -- though I can't imagine why you'd want to -- it gets even that right, managing to have fun with sex without trivializing it. The main character truly struggles with his dilemma, and you're pulling for him all the way. My only, teeny-tiny complaint is that the product placements are frequent. Luckily, they're not very distracting. You're too busy laughing. Highly recommend!
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Collateral (2004)
somewhat engaging
28 August 2004
Very nice job by Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise with a flawed script and so-so plot. Loved the premise but this movie could have been so much better. Maybe someone will remake it. - The most engaging aspect of Collateral is the tension between Cruise and Foxx, which is nicely directed by Michael Mann. However, the dialogue feels unnatural at times. - Biggest complaints relates to the obvious product placements -- Bacardi Silver, Ford, Mercedes -- but I guess that's what we have to expect when we only pay $9 to get in!
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Was smiling when I wasn't cringing
30 May 2003
Loved the energy and look... builds on Matrix part one. Great fights, with superb effects and some nice humor. Trinity is great -- she comes close to stealing the movie. And Persephone... wow (I'm told you can see more of her in Irreversible).

But there were a couple (okay 4 or 5) times when I wondered what the h*ll the Wachowski brothers were thinking... or maybe _IF_ they were thinking. Those few scenes aside, I liked it. Lots better than George Lucas' last few disastrous efforts.

Warning for those who haven't seen the movie, I'm discussing some details now. If you don't want to know, stop reading...

1. Morpheus' speech and the rave dance in the "temple" of Zion. Simply stupid, and even mushier than the final scene of Star Wars Ep. 4. Yuck.

2. The whole bit about "understanding your choices"... is this some kind of moral message? Nope. It's cr*p.

3. The lame crotch-zoom in the restaurant with Msr. Merovingian. Grow up. Or maybe that was there for all the 13-year-olds who snuck in...

4. The entire scene with the Architect (who reminded me of Col. Sanders, by the way). Wasn't this gobbledy-gook from both a technical & spiritual perspective?

All that being said, it's not a waste of time to see. Hope they don't make the same kind of mistakes in part 3!
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The Piano (1993)
Pales by Comparison
25 February 2000
Pales by comparison to Jane Campion's earlier film "An Angel at My Table." Some annoyingly heavy-handed symbolism erodes the quality of this film, which nonetheless features an intriguing story and compelling performances from Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, and Sam Neill.
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Heart-warming and funny
23 February 2000
This gem has everything I like in a feel-good movie: excellent characters, an entertaining and unpredictable plot, laughs, even a few points to ponder afterwards. I've seen a few French films that didn't thrill me, but this one definitely did. Even people who hate foreign films will find a lot to love here.
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Interesting Premise, Very Poorly Executed
22 February 2000
I made the mistake of reading the box notes on this video and got intrigued by the plot capsule: U.S. intelligence agent imprisoned in Siberia with Russian soldier as his adversary.

What the box didn't tell me was that this interesting idea would get ruined by the absolutely awful character development, a disjointed plot, and an incredibly annoying little shaman/mystic who keeps showing up throughout the movie.
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Interesting characters, but SOOOOOOO SLOOOOOOOOW
22 February 2000
I'm a patient man, but this bored me. The characters -- and especially our protagonist -- just wasn't compelling enough to capture my attention for all the long, long scenes that inched out the plot. Still, an interesting look inside the lives of a strip club owner and his girls. Has similar feel to Boogie Nights, but without the energy.
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Paranoia and naivete in societal insanity of Stalin's Russia
11 December 1999
I decided to review this film because of its emotional impact.

Like "The Killing Fields," it creates tremendous tension in the viewer by portraying sympathetic, likable characters within an environment of tremendous evil.

The acting and cinematography are both excellent, making a direct connection with the feelings of every character.

My only criticism is very slight (I did rate it a 10, after all), but I wondered a bit at the persistance of Sanchin's naivete. While this is central to his character, I found it a little difficult to comprehend based on what he went through.
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