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I saw this in the theater when I was nine, and I can tell you it truly terrified me. I can't bring myself to watch it today. That black blob monster of oil/sap that fed on the exhaust from the logging truck was the most disturbing thing I'd ever seen. In general, the film is a bit of a one-sided propaganda piece on saving the environment, but it gets it's message across. Speaking from my reaction from the film, terrifying kids to get them to recycle or save the forest is not the way to go. It's okay for kids movies to be scary, like the slightly disturbing pink elephant dream sequence from Dumbo, but this one really crosses the line.
In Her Shoes (2005)
Enjoyable but slightly flawed, In Her Shoes is definitely deeper than a chick-flick in the handling of the characters. Toni Collette is excellent as usual, as well as Shirley MacLaine, yet I couldn't help thinking while watching that I should read the book it was based on and get a deeper look at these people and their lives. I felt the film could have gone into more detail and I expected it to be longer, as so many plot developments felt somewhat simplified to fit them all in to a 2-hour running time. That's my biggest criticism of the film, but it was enjoyable in general and I had a wonderful time watching. A few other things I enjoyed: the Rocky reference (my favorite), and the opening sequence during the credits. I have to credit this last one to both screenwriter and director for this incredible opening, which in completely visual terms sets up the film's themes. The titles are presented in cuts between the two sisters, highlighting both their conflict and their connection to one another. Generally, it has a nice balance between dead-seriousness and light drama, but I wish there was more of it to comment on.
Sexy without being raunchy, frank without being overly explicit, I appreciate how difficult it is to write and perform a good comedy series, and I can say that Coupling is the most consistently humorous I have seen in recent years. Comparisons between this show and Friends are unfounded. It is easy to reduce sitcom down to its formula, since most mediocre and downright terrible sitcoms can be grouped together without question, but does having 6 people talking about sex and hanging out in a bar/coffee shop make it the same? I ask you...
Coupling is a character-oriented farce, and unfortunate since 'farce' is often used as a derogatory term. I know I may be looking at it much too deeply being a FTV student, but several episodes are noteworthy for being incredibly complicated and, somehow, resolved in a mere 30 minutes. "The End of the Line" is one of them, the other being "9 1/2 Minutes", and both in a way break the mundane sitcom format telling a story from three different points of view. Most episodes have flashbacks and flashforwards, even in the middle of conversations, that keep the story fresh and interesting.
Some sitcom episodes you can describe in one sentence. With Coupling, it may take you ten minutes to tell your friends all about this great new, well new to me, series you found on DVD. That's saying a lot for the incredible writing, though significantly weaker in the 4th series but still enjoyable. Highly recommended on both sides of the Atlantic.
cute little movie
Janie is a cute little piece of fluff with a few good laughs, but I must say the patriotic stance it takes really killed the fantasy. This sort of WWII down-with-Hitler, hurray-for-the-military talk was common at the time, I realize, but Janie's excuse for her big party, not for fun but for the well being of the army and navy, and the nation at large, just added an extra "message" layer that wasn't necessary to enjoy the movie. Other than that, it was fun to see all of Janie's boy-hungry girlfriends yelling "jeepers" and "golly" all over the place. I must say the musical number took me aback at first, but it surprised me how enjoyable it was. If only everyone could sing in perfect harmony at house parties...
an uneven but engaging thriller
"Julie" starts out as a mass of tension, (other than the ridiculous rear-projection car scenes where everyone turns the steering wheel in wrong directions!) packing an intense amount of story in the first 40 minutes. By the second act, when the pace slows down, all the previous scenes seem too condensed for comfort. One scene in the beginning of the film is especially intriguing: Lyle practices his piano piece while Julie lays on the couch. Watching his hands dance over the keys, and the beautifully framed shot of him against the open window is truly surreal, almost too profound for a film of this type.
The third act, all about Doris Day landing the airplane, feels like an entirely separate movie. With the loss of the human threat after her, it stops being a thriller and becomes the tag ending of an action blockbuster. "Julie" has uneven bursts of calm and nail-biting tension, all in all a strange combination with its own memorable moments.
Love Crazy (1941)
off with a great start...
There are genuinely funny moments in this film; I didn't want to take my eyes off Powell and Loy for a second during the first half. The last act, however, really gets ridiculous with the psychiatrists' examination of Powell. It may have been inane just for laughs, but it seemed to escape me. Besides that, all the misunderstandings between characters, and especially the elevator scene, are prime examples of comedy that will be hard to top. It's hard to find that excellent Powell/Loy chemistry anywhere else, though their other films are of higher quality.
Trouble in Paradise (1932)
better than anything you see today
"Trouble in Paradise" is not only an enjoyable comedy, it is a beautiful experience that everyone deserves to enjoy. This film has something in it for everyone.
I heard more laughs at a screening of this movie than any other movie in my life, and it deserves every single one. The ending is absolutely perfect. If it seems dated, that's what makes it so good! The comic timing is perfect, and the music, unlike most films of the era, is not too overbearing and goes along very well with every punchline. Like I said before, all of these elements together make this film an experience, and I wished it would go on longer! All the sexual innuendos keep you intrigued by not making everything blatantly obvious. That's the problem with most comedies; writers have any respect for the audience like the ones of this movie. They don't have to spell everything out to keep our interest. That's exactly why this movie works: you are surprised by several points because the dialogue still makes you think about the previous scene (We have to THINK to watch a movie, what a concept). Nothing gets better than this.
All in all, no one should be without this masterpiece.
Ellen Burnstyn is a great talent
What makes this wonderful movie work is not only Scorcese's engaging camera angles and colors, but is the acting of Ellen Burnstyn. Any other actress could not have brought such depth on so many different levels as she does. I absolutely love the mother-son conversations, which is much more common today than at the time. Although the ending was resolved a little too quickly, her character builds and builds throughout the film, and I for one was very satisfied with the resolve at the end.