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Dracula 3000 (2004)
Dracula 3000 is a "Scary Movie!"
Unintentionally satirical? That's what I thought when I saw this movie. Let me explain: it's the year 3000 and a motley salvage crew believes they have hit pay dirt with this mother lode. Then they find out about their unwanted visitor. A huge space craft that the estimate is worth a lot of money. The dialogue was at times painfully crude. The acting is often cringe worthily funny. There is a plot twist or two, but, uh.but even that does not help thicken the pap thin plot. Their is eye candy for the guys and comic relief for all. The actor chosen to play Dracula was hilarious (as was his outfit, which looked like a Halloween costume). My first time seeing an almost slap stick version of Dracula with gore. Three stars
Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)
I Liked it Very Much
I cannot say I LOVED it, but I did LIKE it, very much. It is a 21st Century reboot of a beloved series. Let me first say that there is no way the any director or group of actors can recapture the magic of the original Star Trek series of the 1960s. Mr. Spock's subtly sarcastic and thinly veiled elitist tone played by Mr. Nimoy is untouchable. The egotistical yet fiercely caring and loyal, calculatingly yet impulsive, Captain Kirk played William Shatner was done brilliantly with a figurative *wink* at the audience. Therefore, it would be utterly ridiculous to even attempt to duplicate the magic of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. And, the story lines were also fantastic, considering the limited time and budget the writers/producers had to work with. I think that is why they keep rehashing them, because they were so well written and thought out in the first place. If you check all of the Star Trek series, many of the stories of the 1960s were redone in some shape or form in each of the series of the 1980s on, including the movies.
However, JJ Abrams and the actors have managed to capture the essence of Star Trek; good acting, action with some humor thrown in. I do like the new Spock and Captain Kirk. I like the fact that they are still the major players, because that is true to the series. I like the fact that the key to their teamwork is their friendship and eventually mutual respect. Zachary Quinto has managed to emote some of the sarcastic tone of the original Mr. Spock as well as his inner struggle. Mr. Quinto does have a hard act to follow, as does Chris Pine as Captain Kirk. But, he does have the charm, good looks, wicked humor to pull it off. And yes, Kirk for the most part gets every girl, except Lt. Uhura. Benedict Cumberbach looks nothing like Richardo Montalban who played Khan in the series and movie. Yet, he managed to make the role his own; the commanding, fierce ruthlessness and physical presence. Lithe, lean yet muscular enough to convince us of his physicality. Eloquent, elitist, dismissive of others, his body language and facial expressions appropriately communicate his attitude of superiority.
The special effects were fantastic. I saw it in 3D and I must say the visual effects people had a field day. But, there was still enough focus on the story so that you did not feel like the whole movie an orgy of explosions and CGI. There was some creative license taken with the story line, so if you are a purist, it will upset you. However, if you listen carefully, there are hints and allusions (details) in the story that only hardcore trekkies would recognize, which I won't give away (the movie has just been released less than two weeks ago after all). I do not think that Star Trek has lost its way, the essence of Star Trek is still there -- if you look closely enough. I could not give this movie a ten because of the changes to the original story line surrounding some of the characters.
Ai no korîda (1976)
I Did Not Like this Film
I found myself confused about what the film maker was trying to convey. It is true that there are graphic sex scenes that caused me to press the forward button. I felt the movie was about a woman's toxic obsession and the man's willing to do whatever it took to fulfill her insatiable desires. I must say that the director and actors were daring to be willing to take part telling this true story, which I Googled after watching the movie. I would say to watch the movie for yourself and decide what you think. I found it interesting that the story seemed to be told without judgment of the characters. It was just a frank narrative of a tragic story of a twisted love affair. This movie is not for the faint at heart.
I Admit This is a Film that is Odd
A world without feeling? Is it possible? According to the movie Equilibrium (2002). No. The excuse for sedating the population with the exception of top brass, rebels and individuals in the population who choose to not take the dose. The hints are not so subtle. Why Because it shows how blind Preston had become. In the face of wry grins, emotional outbursts, and restlessness, he still seems blissfully unaware. While some people see this as a weakness in the film, I think it is purposeful and begs the question: Is blindness a by product of unwavering loyalty and duty? That is one of the underlying questions the film asks. The religious undertone is also of interest, and requires one to read between the lines via current and historical applications. In summation, on the surface it appears to be a different take on action, but look a little closer and read between the lines...
The End of America (2008)
Have Faith in Your Doubts
You cannot judge any president or leaders based on sound bites, which can be misconstrued and manipulated. However, the movie makers make some good points that will make you think. The testimonies of various individuals are at times heart rending and frightening. There can be no doubt that our country is going through a political and societal shift, in terms of the level of control, erosion of privacy, and changes in legislation that have effected our every day lives. However, can we really tell what is true and what is not based on the media? One should not negate any trend of thought without checking out the facts. At the same time, you should keep your eyes and ears open and READ. Which, if this documentary accomplishes encourages us to do that, than in my opinion, the mission is accomplished.
Anna Lucasta (1958)
*Possible Spoilers* Worth Watching
*Possible Spoilers* ABOUT THE MOVIE / CHARACTERS: I enjoyed this movie. It is a movie about redemption. Anna Luasta's family in many ways is classic example of a dysfunctional family. The brother in law is a total bully with no redeeming qualities. Anna's sister is a great match for her bully of a husband, whose monologues, which are intended to impress, reveal his ignorance and lack of education. Anna's brother is a hen pecked husband, by his brother-in-law and wife. The only likable members of Anna's family is the mother, who seems clueless about the undercurrents in her own home. Joe, Anna's father is the most conflicted. An alcoholic, he appears to be guiltily repulsed by Anna. His anger seems almost displaced; why does he hate her so? Or, does he really hate himself? Why does he seem to take sadistic pleasure in hurting her? There was a time that Joe doted on Anna. What happened? The conflicting nature of their relationship is apparent to the end of the movie (which I have not revealed obviously). I was a bit surprised at the ending and I think you will be too.
Before and After
Before Pastor Jackson who is one of the main characters of the play, the play had a satirical feel; but, After Pastor Jackson entered the scene, the play took a serious turn. The play does get more interesting, layered with heartfelt moments and even some romance. There were a lot of truths that were shared, for example, the danger of being judgemental. If you can keep on open mind, you would find this play worth watching, if you like this kind of genre. Even if you are not accustomed to this type of genre, you could watch it not only for entertainment, but to see some of the critical issues highlighted facing communities that have this dichotomy existing in the neighborhoods (church and crime).
True Lies (1994)
Why This is My Favorite Arnold Schwartenegger Movie
In the trivia section, it says that Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to do this movie because of the character. In fact, this was the most well developed character that he ever played in his career. He gets to be comically dramatic, while still getting to do what he does best -- action! I always like to see him in comedies such as Junior (1994)and Twins (1988). Although he will always be remembered for the Terminator Trilogy, True Lies (1994) shows Arnold Schwarzenegger at his best. His delivery and facial expressions are priceless. The script is great with one liners ad infinitum. Jamie Lee Curtis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are a great on screen couple. I am sorry they did not get to make a sequel. And, Tom Arnold is the perfect foil -- his dry, wry witticisms are hilarious! If you have not seen this movie, check it out!
This Movie is Hilarious
In case you have not seen the movie, the story line of Junior (1994)is about a pregnant man. Of all of the men to select, Schwartenegger is the last actor I would have imagined in the role, which makes the movie all the more funny to watch. I always like the pairing of Schwartenegger and Devito. However, I found Schwartenegger and Thompson an unlikely pairing. Their humorous romance had hints of screwball comedy. This movie had me chuckling and laughing out loud. The premise is highly unlikely (at least at the time) but the movie makers made it seem almost plausible. This movie has some genuinely tender moments in the midst of the zaniness.
I Know Who Killed Me (2007)
I Know Who Killed this Movie
The writer and director.
I cannot make up my mind which was worse, the writing or the directing. The torture/mutilation scenes were over the top and needlessly macabre, leaving nothing to the imagination. Remember Silence of the Lambs (1991)? That movie had macabre aspects but it was tastefully done (no pun intended). This movie was tactless and tasteless. What in the world did they think they were doing when they made this movie?! They wasted Lindsey Lohan's talents; I think she tried her best to due justice to the role. Even Julia Ormond's presence could not save this horrid movie. The director did not know what to do with the fine actors that he had in the movie. Of the five movies he has down so far, this is the absolute worst movie that Silvertson has ever directed. It totally tanked at the box office, it did not break even with a $12M budget and a $7.2M gross.
If you are looking for something to watch and you are bored to distraction -- watch something else. And whatever you do, do not waste your money renting this movie.
Valmont Is Its Own Film
There is no comparing Valmont (1988) to Dangerous Liaisons (1989) which is a darker version of the story. I like both versions and appreciate the treatment and performances for what they are. On the surface, Valmont (1989)appears to be a lighthearted, and therein lies the insidiousness and cleverness of this film. The main characters seem benign, somewhat youthful and attractive with genteel manners that belie their nihilistic approach to life. Yet, you cannot help but be charmed by their playful banter although it is laced with mischievous undertones. Benning and Firth are a great match and their sparring is fun to watch. Balk and Thomas charming as the innocents pawns in the game of cat and mouse.
One of my favorite movies.
Up at the Villa (2000)
Why I Liked This Movie
SYNOPSIS/COMMENT: The movie aptly depicts the somewhat hum drum life of an attractive widow (Kristen Scott Thomas), who needs a protector and sponsor. An older man wants the job, he seems agreeable enough and he and the widow have a friendly history. But, it is clear that she is not attractive to him and it would be a marriage of convenience (albeit pleasantly so).
The rest of the cast works in that they reflect the dullness and colorlessness of the times (in such a richly colorful place as Italy). People seeking to entertain themselves; mainly older men and women aimlessly hanging on to a foreign country the does not want them. I think that the casting was good. Ann Bancroft was wonderful and James Fox was great Thomas' older suitor. I really like the scenery and the sleepiness of the pacing which picks up after the first half of the movie.
Then in the second half of the movie, in an expected turn, the widow, who seems much too naive for her age and station, is the catalyst for an event which causes the roguish character (Sean Penn) to saunters into her life. She spurned him just hours before, but, now she needs his help desperately. And, somehow, his well worn lines become appealing to her, as does he.
There is the unlikely pairing of Thomas and Penn characters who are from different worlds, cultures and pedigrees. However, the young widow's choices make a lot of sense if one listens carefully to the dialogue, particularly between her the rogue. The ending is not unexpected, but, well, why don't you can judge for yourself? Check out this movie.
Body & Soul (1993)
This is One of My Favorite Mini-Series
This is one of my favorite Mini-Series, because of the storyline, and the acting. Kristen Scott Thomas is excellent and played the role naturally. One would not think that a story of a nun's life could be so dramatically and intelligently portrayed. I have not seen a storyline on the subject so compelling since A Nun's Story (1959) with Audrey Hepburn. Ms. Thomas like Ms. Hepburn, has a very expressive face, and can transmit an array of feelings without speaking.
Body and Soul is a story about the conflicts of duty to one's beliefs, one's family and one's self. Anna (Thomas), after many years of being a nun, has to help her family's floundering business. In the process, she learns some things about herself, and as a result is faced with some decisions. In some cases in stories like this, you can almost guess what will happen next. However, Body and Soul has a few surprises.
If you have not seen this mini-series, it is worth renting or buying.
Walk by Faith (2007)
A Nice Movie
The black Christian version of the runaway bride (sort of). A woman pushing 40 who has not yet found herself (good thing her family has a business and can support her), leaves eligible bachelors at the altar. She goes on some dates and courts a man of the cloth while getting a makeover. She is looking for a Christian knight in shining armour; someone perfect. This movie has a strong religious flavor to it. On the other hand, the movie shows how that no matter how religious you are, there is a practical side to courtship. It is a total change of pace compared to typical date movies. It looks like a Tyleresque (Tyler Perry) approach; like a play that was filmed with some exterior shots added in.
I love This Movie
This is one of my favorite movies! My family comments on the fact that I watch black and white movies. It is because of the creativity and the dialogue. The 40s the dialogue was always crisp, clean and the actors enunciated their lines, you understood every syllable. No mumbling or swallowing of words in the 1940s (with the exception of comedy and gangster movies).
This is one of best of the best. You never see the violence, death or heated arguments. All of the gory details are presented in a narrative form and yet you are enthralled. It is because the actors were excellent story tellers.
And there are a few innuendos and witticisms, some of which if you are not watching or listening carefully, you will not catch. There is plenty of wry, dry English wit to go around in this movie.
It is a Englishman's film-noir, which Hitchcock excelled at.
What a Way to Go! (1964)
This Film is Hilarious!
With eye candy galore, this movie is funny, funny, funny! It starts out with the a widow on the couch, explaining to the psychiatrist why she does not want her fortune.
A simple lady, who just wanted to live on love, for some reason whomever she marries, becomes insanely driven, filthy rich workaholics, that work themselves to early graves with hilarious results.
The costume designer had lots of fun, working with thirty-year-old Shirley Maclaine at her physical peak.
It looked like the entire cast had a blast. It was fun to watch A-list actors clown around.
Does Louisa May ever find what she is searching for? You have to watch this light hearted black comedy (an oxymoron yet an apt description of the movie) and find out.
I watched this program for the second time and I found it very watchable. This episode chronicles the activities of the red tailed hawk family, that has a nest atop a lovely 5th Avenue apartment building. Their presence transformed New Yorkers into avid bird watchers. These "bird watchers"come from all walks of life, from the unemployed to the rich and famous; Kim Basinger makes a cameo appearance,and there is an amusing reference to Woody Allen.
I cannot say which is more interesting, watching the birds or watching the "Bird Watchers" watch the birds.
Joanne Woodward is the narrator and she does a great job. Her dry, wry wit is perfect.
I am amazed how easily this episode draws one in; I found myself getting caught up in the exciting and tension filled moments. If you want to see what I mean, check this show out on thirteen.
Rumor Has It... (2005)
In more ways than one, allow me to explain: The plot - a family whose sordid pass is the basis of the movie and book, The Graduate (1967). The granddaughter is about to be married and in her search for self she seeks to confirm the paternity of her dad and in her search, something very unexpected happens.
Acting - not bad considering. The lineup is pretty good, but, the romantic chemistry is somewhat between the leads. The magic is not there, which is probably the point. Since the protagonist, Sarah (Aniston) is playing the board fiancée, feeling that her life is mediocre, and although she has a loving, supportive partner Jeff (Ruffalo) she still has doubts about their future together.
Overall - the results have some mediocre moments, but the movie is watchable. It has some funny and quirky moments. There are is a few twists and turns along the way, but, they are flat, like champaign without the fizzle. It had potential, but, something went wrong. Jennifer Aniston's hair looks nice. I mean, if you are looking for a sequel to The Graduate (1967), this movie is not it.
Something New (2006)
Something New Offers "Something New."
Although the movie has some clichéd moments, it is touching, funny and romantic.
The casting was excellent. Sanaa Lathan as Kenya McQueen was a great choice, her performance was understated and nuanced. Simon Baker as Brian was perfect! He presented himself as self aware, healthy and hip all at the same time. His character would be any woman's dream! A regular guy with a brain. The supporting cast overall was good too, funny and sometimes over the top.
The romance was nicely done, and at the end you find yourself rooting for the characters. Alfre Woodard was hilarious as Mrs. McQueen, Kenya's mother. It was nice to see her out of character. Earl Billings as Dr. Edmond McQueen portrayed every girl's dream dad; loving and understanding.
The subplot - Kenya's job, had some interesting moments, this movie is worth checking out.
Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
What a Movie!
This is one of my favorite movies! The mystery was the lead character, Ellen; the cool, lovely and smoldering and so much more. Ellen Berent Hartman is the adult version of Rhoda Penmark in The Bad Seed (1956). Totally ruthless, unfeeling and riveting. Gene Tierney (Ellen) gave the performance of her career! Cornel Wilde was a good foil for her as her unsuspecting husband, Richard Hartman. This movie is about the rare breed of human who has feelings for no one, consumed by their own selfish desires. The costars almost faded in the background at times in comparison to Tierney's performance. Yet, every character had their moment to shine. Vincent Price does a great job portraying the jilted fiancé whose fierce determination to see justice done is just an expression of loss and unrequited love. Jean Crain was appropriately forlorn and Chil Wills' expression of horrid realization was chilling (no pun intended). With all of the cards seemingly laid on the table for the audience, there is still room for suspense. If you like a suspenseful drama, don't miss this movie. I watch it every chance I get.
Pimp My Ride (2004)
It is Entertaining if You Don't Take it Seriously
I watched this show every once One thing I like about the show is that they create a theme based on the owner's interest. The most interesting episodes deal with musical themed cars. Plus, the cars look so bad, that any change (extreme or not) is welcome. The show has had a few slam dunks. One episode where they "pimped" a volkswagon wagon was pretty cool. They seem to have more success with larger cars, because it gives them more room to play with. There were a few episodes where I was a little jealous, because the interior furniture was uniquely nice and the paint job was fantastic. It is fun to watch, although sometimes certain auto techs get a little silly and lampoonish. And that can get annoying. One thing is clear, this show is all about fun. But, overall, It is worth checking out once in a while.
Being John Malkovich (1999)
The Oddest Movie I have Ever Seen...Don't Miss It!
I had no idea what to expect when I watched the movie. Being John Malkovich (1999) has a one of a kind theme. And, of course, of all actors in the world to pick, John Malkovich? Brilliant. The movie has twists, turns and a surprise or two in store.
It is most interesting to see how the characters develop and how ultimately, everyone ends up. Sometimes, I wonder how the actors got through some scenes with a straight face. The movie manages to be darkly tongue and cheek from start to finish.
If you want to see a movie that is unusual, funny, poignant with a philosophical thought thrown in, check this movie out.
Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is (2006)
This show is chronicalling Keyshia's struggle to overcome her past while embracing it at the same time. She does this by not denying where she came from, or her family. It is at times a brutally honest treatment. Yet, her resiliency and intelligence shines through. And, I find myself wanting to cheer her on. Keyshia has dreams and the drive to make her dreams come true. When I first saw the show, it was dealing with her plans for creating her own label and the promoting of new talent. The rapper that Keyshia plans to promote via her own label (in progress) is a very talented young lady.
I think it is a show worth watching, especially if you want an insider view of an entertainer climbing to the top.
Alma's Rainbow (1994)
A Nice Slice of African American Life with a Caribbean Flavor
Alma's owns a beauty salon, which is located in the first floor of her brownstone. Alma has to come to terms with her past as she struggles to keep her daughter from making the same mistake, she made some years ago. Her daughter, Rainbow, struggles with puberty (some may find it hard to believe, however, there are young girls that are that well developed in their early teens).
In the midst of Rainbow's struggle with puberty and it's social implications, Ruby, Alma's sister shows up unannounced. Wild and free Ruby changes both Alma and Rainbow as she encourages Alma to loosen up and Rainbow to follow her dreams. It is a nice movie.
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
X3: The Live Cartoon
Special Effects/Plot: Fantastic, extremely well executed. Even some of the most unbelievable parts seemed believable. There are complaints of character and plot development. I would have liked to seen more of what motivated the characters. Although the first two installments aptly explained everyone's motivation, I would have liked to seen more character development. So, I am left trying to read between the lines, which is not so bad, is it? A cure for mutants was discovered by scientists. Ironically, the cure, is a mutant. Of course, for those mutants who do not think that there is anything wrong with them, this presents a problem. And,ultimately results in a showdown. This movie has some surprising moments to say the least. There are at least two jaw dropping moments in this movie.
Characters: I thought that casting Kelsey Grammar as the beast was perfect. Ian McKellen (Magneto) is always brilliant as is Hugh Jackman (Wolverine). They steal every scene that they are in. Famke Janssen seems like she is sleep walking, which I am sure is the point. Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) has a moment or two. But the stars of the movie are clearly McKellaen and Jackman. Patrick Stewart (Xavier) has been a favorite Sci Fi actor of mine since Star Trek. The other X-Men franchise characters seem to make cameo appearance. Halle Berry (Storm) was more assertive than usual. One downside is that major X-Men characters had little more than cameo appearances in this movie.
I enjoyed the movie, but, left feeling like I ordered Applie Pie a la Mode and was only served ice cream.