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He's been a devoted user of IMDB since 2000! He's also a writer/producer/inventor and much more.
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Just One of the Guys (1985)
Just One of the Guys is an underrated film with lots of smarts
This has always been a guilty pleasure for me. Yes, one of the reasons was because I loved Joyce Hyser who was so beautiful in a Sandra Bullock kinda way. I really thought she was going to have an amazing career much like I knew Sandra would when I first saw her in While You Were Sleeping but for whatever reason Joyce never became a household name. I thought she was an excellent actress and had all the qualities but it just goes to show that sometimes there's a lot of luck involved in become a big star. I had the same feeling about Julia Roberts when I saw her in Mystic Pizza (another all-time favorite!). This underrated film has slowly garnered a lot of attention and respect over the years. It has an excellent message at its heart and a sweet love story. The humor was also pretty good. Unfortunately many people judge it incorrectly because of an awful movie poster with Joyce holding two football helmets over her breasts (ugh!). Yes, there is the infamous boob shot near the end but this movie is nothing like most of the teen flicks of the 80s. This is more like The Last American Virgin than Porkies. By the way, I also loved Clayton Royner who was in another favorite of mine, "M0dern Girls" which starred Virginia Madsen, Cynthia Gibb and Daphne Zuniga.
French Postcards (1979)
French Postcards is an underrated film
Do not bother watching the version of French Postcards that you can buy today on DVD because they totally ruined it by replacing the original soundtrack which was perfect. This includes the opening scene on the bus ride when it used to be a french version of Do You Believe in Magic"! There was also a sweet scene near the end with Nicolette Larson's "Lotta Love" which is destroyed by its replacement. Many more scenes are ruined by the replacement music. I hate when this happens. Ridley Scott usually does this. I have same complaint of his LEGEND which is much better with the original soundtrack.
I have the original version which I copied from A&E from the 1980s that I converted to DVD. Poor quality but it's the best version!
The cast was tremendous including young future stars Mandy Pantinkin and Debra Winger in small but funny roles. Valérie Quennessen is a revelation..she went on to star in Summer Lovers 3 years later but died young in a tragic car accident. Miles Chapman does an awesome Woody Allen type performance and David Marshall Grant is fantastic. The writers Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck also penned the classic American Graffitti and the first draft of Star Wars (uncredited).
I admit to loving this movie for personal reasons as I traveled abroad after high school and lived in Italy for a while and experienced life changing things like the characters in this movie. I highly recommend traveling whether you are young or old. It broadens your heart and mind.
A Summer Story (1988)
Story about summer fling stays with you forever!
Talk about getting thrown for a loop! I watched this movie with no expectations and became mesmerized by its tale! It is so true and powerful that it stays with you forever. Love, after all, is all about decisions and compromises. Everyone chooses to give up something (someone) when they choose to love someone (something) for life.
The emotional power of what might have been is breath-taking and impacts every one of us no matter how happy we are or how good life turned out.
We know it would have been vastly different had we chosen a different path. Anyway, I am buying this one on DVD. (on ebay right now).
The Butcher's Wife (1991)
I know, I know, it's basically a boiler-plate piece of Hollywood fluff but I really loved this movie. I am a hopeless romantic and thought this movie captured the essence of falling in love and finding your split-apart...er...soul mate. :)
Jeff Daniels is wonderful as the shrink who can't help himself as his world unravels and falls apart thanks to the whacky Demi Moore character. Demi is perfect as the ditzy but charming butcher's wife. I really liked Mary Steenburgen in this story... she looked beautiful and sang like an angel. I liked all of the little characters too. The music at the end is haunting and perfect for the finale which wasn't surprising but who cares!!!
Prelude to a Kiss (1992)
Prelude to a Kiss is a wonderful experience. Alec Baldwin and Meg Ryan are perfect together. I especially enjoyed his narration at the beginning of the movie as he describes his first encounter with Meg's character. It's all about soulmates and how they connect and they just know it was meant to be. Then there is the powerful moment after Meg Ryan and an elderly man somehow swap bodies and Baldwin looks at his wife and asks "where is my wife?!" because he just knows that she is not the same person he fell in love with, even though it was her body and she looked like his wife, there was something wrong...something off....when it came to her spirit and the way she thought and acted. Incredibly original stuff... to show how deep love is actually. That we could tell whether or not someone is our soulmate even if they changed physical form. It also showed how we love and embrace all those annoying little things about our lovers that we complain about and don't agree with. I thought it was extremely cute how he missed all of his wife's neurotic and strange idiosyncrasies. All of her foibles were as important to him as all of her best traits.
This is a very underrated movie and a must see for anyone who is a romantic.
Too Close to home!
I was blown away by this movie. It continues to haunt me too. It's not very often when a film makes you think so much and do deep soul-searching. I really liked the story and the characters. It was so true... so real. I do think the title could have been better. Closer does not describe the experience. Something like "Brutal Honesty" or "RAW" would've been better suited.
The main thing that sticks with me about this movie is how anyone in their right mind could cheat on the gorgeous Natalie Portman! Yeah, yeah, it was with Julia Roberts, but come on! OK, you could say that Julia's character was a mature woman and Portman played a young, naive, flaky stripper. Fine, if you want to knit-pick!!! ;)
The other thing that I remember most about this movie is the intense conversations the jilted lovers had with each other! Men do ask those insane questions about sex. Why???? So crazy and yet so true.
The music and images at the beginning and ending are haunting...
A Touching and Beautiful movie
If you haven't seen this movie yet, then please do! Also, beware of spoilers here in this review!
First of all, I'm a big Frank Capra fan, so I'm sentimental. I love feel good movies more than anything. This movie feels like one of those old time movies Mr. Capra would have made.
I don't need to give the plot since anyone can discover that. I would just like to mention some of my favorite scenes from the movie that make it a classic in my book! I own the DVD now!
What I love most about this movie is the music! Thomas Newman is my favorite composer and he did a masterful job with this movie! I didn't know who he was when I heard this soundtrack and many others. It was a fluke not that long ago that I realized that he was the one who has done by far most of my favorite soundtracks! It was shocking to see how many he did! From Six Feet Under, to The Shawshank Redemption to many more! The best music of all is the first track at the beginning of the movie, which plays throughout the movie everytime John Travolta becomes mesmerized by the trees swaying in the wind. It's been over 7 years since I first saw this movie and I have never forgotten the powerful emotions that these images ignited within me. I still look at trees and nature differently thanks to this much underrated movie! It is one of the best scenes ever in history...in my opinion anyway.
*Big SPoiler warning* Another one of my favorite all-time scenes is the scene in the hospital near the end of the movie when John learns his fate. Forest Whitaker, Sedgwick and DuVall have never been better. If you look closely at their performances in the background you will notice true, raw emotion! You can almost feel their pain as they share the tragic news to their friend. Duvall's speech about how he feel in love with George (John's charactor) after taking care of his broken his leg as a kid was wonderful. He ends it with "For a man who never had any kids of his own, I feel like I'm losing a son!"
Then the topper comes when Kyra is alone with John in the hospital room. She tells him that she tried her best not to fall in love with him and he asks her "How'd that turn out?" and she replies with "Terribly!" Then he asks her "Will you love me for the rest of my life?" and she replies with one of the most memorable lines ever in movie history, "No...I'm going to love you for the rest of mine"
Another amazing and memorable scene comes after that when John shows Kyra how he feels most of the time when he gets lost in bliss while appreciating nature and the dancing trees in the wind. He tells her to imagine holding her newborn baby and rocking it gently when the baby didn't feel well. She closed her eyes and gently rocked the imaginary baby as that hauntingly beautiful song plays.
The ending is sad, but so memorable. It's just like real life, really. We will all have sad endings, but what we do while alive and how we are remembered by our loved ones is what matters most. This movie is a blessing.
A Must See for any hopeless romantic!
As a previous reviewer put it, Serendipity is very difficult to believe, but if you're a hopeless romantic like I am then you will have no problems accepting the highly implausible and unlikely turns of events in this movie. After all, isn't that one of the reasons why we watch movies...to get lost in a fairy tale of sorts? I know that I found myself lost in what felt like a real world and felt the angst the two main characters felt as they desperately tried to figure out their lives and their hearts! It reminded me of the feeling I had when I saw another underrated movie called "Made in Heaven".
One of the best things about this movie is the cast...I love Cusack's best buddy. He has always been one of my favorites...on tv or film (he was on Ellen's now defunked sitcom which was hilarious before he came out of the closet and he was in another one of my all-time favorite films, The Family Man)! Molly Shannan was also a gem!
The other amazing part of this movie was the music!!! I truly believe that music can make or break a movie and the soundtrack to this movie was heaven! I especially get goosebumps and chills at the end on the ice rink! The song was perfect...the way it was shot was blissful... It made up for all the little pockets of implausibilities...big time!
So, rent/buy it if you are a big softie like me!
Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (1988)
Sometimes less is more: Don't watch the uncut version first!
Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't seen this classic yet...ok? Don't read this review if you haven't seen at least one version of Cinema Paradiso.
First of all, I was born in Italy, so I was extremely proud when Cinema Paradiso won the Oscar for best foreign film as well as the hearts of all movie goers when it was released. Also, I am a hopeless romantic who absolutely adores movies! So this movie was right up my alley on many levels!
I saw the shorter version as most of us did when it came out in the US, and only recently saw the full uncut Director's version. It is one of my all-time favorite movies ever--and still is--but I must admit that I did not experience near the same magic or euphoria that the shorter original version gave me many moons ago! Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the extra 51 minutes because I wanted MORE of a great thing, but as the old saying goes, sometimes less is more! Nothing, I repeat, nothing can match the power of the imagination and thus there in lies the magic and the power of the shorter version! By cutting out the extra scenes, we, the audience, were all left up to our own devices and forced to fill in the blanks ourselves with our imagination and our heart! By seeing everything the way we do in the full blown version, well, despite how sweet it was, it left something to be desired. I enjoyed the reunion (al though the whole flashing light effect grew VERY tiresome after awhile) but I could have done without it.
Also, the thing that has been eating away at me is the whole question about why in the world Alfredo would (or could!) interfere with his supposed adopted son's first true love! Sure, I've been trying to come up with angles and reasons for his insanely cruel action, but nothing will convince me that the writer/director simply screwed up and should not have made the character do such a dastardly deed! Period! I loved the whole notion that he loved his "son" so much that he forced him to leave town and made him promise never to come back again...because we all knew that Alfredo was right...the only way Toto was going to achieve his dream was by leaving their small town and son of a gun if Fredo wasn't right! However....for him to be the main reason for the breakup of Toto's great love spoils the whole story. I will never watch this version again. I bought the DVD and pray that the original shorter verson that I saw and fell in love with is on the DVD!!!
P.S. Some of my all-time favorite scenes come from this movie: The kiss in the rain (which is the cover on the DVD!) The dialogue where Alfredo tells Toto "I don't want to hear you talk anymore. I want to hear people talking about you!" The montague at the end of all the kisses and censored scenes. The haunting images of Elena on Toto's little movie projector...
Silent Running (1972)
It's been 30 years since this movie came out and time has been very good to this Sci-Fi futuristic tale about Nature and Man. It not only holds up well, it does so eerily so!
I have not seen it in many years, but the images, the sounds and the core message have always remained with me. Yes, I know it was only a movie, but it was one of those rare movies that touches you deep inside and sticks forever. I was a young kid, but for some reason, I grasped what it was saying. On later viewings, as I matured, I understood even more.
Besides all the wonderful visual treats and powerful messages, "Silent Running" is an enjoyable movie. The characters are real and quirky and likable. The robots are also precious and this was long before (by 5 years) R2D2 and C3PO taught the American public that we CAN feel some real emotions for mechanical characters. In fact, there is a scene where you just might find yourself getting a little misty eyed for a robot! I admit this while clutching what remains of my Italian-American macho self-image!
Bruce Dern was marvelous! He plays the usual borderline psycho, but with the proverbial heart of gold. He means well....and you just might find yourself questioning your own morals and wondering if you would have done what he did in the movie. It will be a disturbing notion, especially once the end credits roll. You will sit there with your mouth open and numb. You will have to let it all soak in, my friend, and perhaps view it again after a few days to truly understand it all.
One of the other haunting elements of this picture is the music! The most memorable being by Judy Collins! The song at the end is perfect. It is the purest example of music and film merging into perfection.
The Director, Douglas Trumbell, did not go on to do as many great films as I thought he would after seeing this masterpiece, but he has done enough quality work to offset the quantity. For example, besides "Silent Running", he was visual effects supervisor for Kubrick's amazing 2001: A Space Odyssey, special photographic effects supervisor for the all-time best sci-fi movie, "BladeRunner" and Speilberg's "Close Encounter of the Third Kind"! Some resume, huh?
Please experience this movie and let me know what you think.
Trust me on this one....this is a great movie!
Over a decade later and this movie still hits me hard. It might just be for personal reasons...I'm a computer professional who had a father similar to the one in this movie and I've had to overcome many emotional issues in order to ultimately find true love, etc. etc. Anyway, for whatever reason why, I just loved this movie and still do. It is unique, original, witty, interesting and most of all, touching.
In the end, you care about all the lost souls in this movie. The music is haunting and moving too.
I hope you see it.
The Wedding Planner (2001)
I want an annulment!
I watched this movie with much anticipation and it started out great. But it was all downhill from the moment Ms. Lopez gets her shoe stuck in the grate and risked her life just to save her shoe! Talk about stupid writing! That was a warning sign of what was yet to come. It was unrealistic and thus spoiled the ever-critical "willing suspension of disbelief" that is vital to enjoying a movie. It was not funny and not believable. No one in their right mind would run back to get their shoe as a giant dumpster is flying down a hill towards it. Big deal if it goes over it! The odds of the shoe even being hit was remote...then to risk your safety over it? Come on.
Then the scene with the marble statue's penis. Need I say more? It was supposed to be cute and funny...but it was lame. Shall I say it petered out?
The most annoying thing about this movie was the absolute audacity of the casting director and the director himself for choosing Jennifer Lopez as the lead who was supposed to be an Italian woman! I am Italian and was born there, so I know me some Italian. She was not even close to resembling or sounding like Italian! Why didn't they just change the script and make her spanish? Even lebanese! But not Italian! Oh and her father's accent was the world's worst fake Italian accent ever recorded on film!! He sounded more retarded than from Italy!!!! The trio of stupidity is completed by Massimo, the Italian man who tries to wed our fair heroin. His accent only seemed believable thanks to the God awful performances by Lopez and her father.
Other than that, I still give the movie an 8 out of 10. I am being generous too. I loved the plot and it had some good moments. My favorites were: Maria having to reassure the bride when she gets cold feet about marrying the man that Maria loved. That showed great character. Also, liked the ending which I won't give away, but could have been better still.
The Asterick stands for Excellent!!!
Whether you're a baseball fan or not, you will love this movie. It is not just about a sport or some record, but about all the things that make life wonderful: honor, friendship, dreams, goals, and most of all, love and family. I'm a lifelong Yankee fan, as is Billy Crystal, who directed this gem. This means that this movie will move me more than non-Yankee fans, but I defy anyone not to be touched by this story. Here is a man, Roger Maris, who doesn't want the spotlight but is thrust into it against his will as he chases down the bambino's ghost and breaks his record for most homers in a season. Because he played an extra 8 games than the babe, the commissioner decided to mark that diference with an asterick. Turns out, the commish was a pal of Babe Ruth back in the day! Anyway, everyone was rooting for Mickey Mantle to break the record, not this redneck from nowhere. Despite everything, Roger made history. His record stood for over 35 years until Mark McGurie shattered it. This movie puts into perspective the value of having dreams and reaching for them, no matter how unpleasant it might be along the way. In the end, if you have the courage to face all obsticles, you will make your dream come true. I believe that this movie was Billy Crystal's dream and boy did he achieve it! Well done! I have a two year old son and to borrow a line from the end of the movie, I will tell him when he's older "Hey son, that's Billy Crystal and his movie 61* is a homerun!"
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Everything that a movie should be
Yes, It's a wonderful Life has become a Christmas classic and millions of people have fallen in love with it. I know this, but this movie became my all-time favourite long before the rest of the world finally took notice of its greatness. I was merely a teen when I was stunned by Frank Capra's magical film. It was about dreams, friends, family and most of all, love. They called it Capra-corn or as Mr. Potter would say "Sentimental hogwash!", but I say so what! It is perfection! The irony is that if it wasn't for a screw up with the film's copyright registration, then this wonderful masterpiece might never have been discovered! So, I am very happy that my personal favourite has become the favourite movie of all-time for millions of others too. Way to go, Jimmy and Frank...way to go!
Doriano "trying to earn his wings"