But the problem is a) most people don't really understand or care about the real behind the scenes of showbiz just as we watch cop shows NOT to see a cop sit in a car for 12 hours, we'd rather see a shootout and b) nearly all the characters are idiots/jerks or unlikeable. Again, in a cop show or a medical show - at least they're saving lives or protecting us so we forgive their annoyances or shallowness or just plain being unlikeable - but when it comes to characters who just want to act, dance, make music - it just doesn't work.
So, even if they hired better actors, it just doesn't work on a weekly basis. That's the main problem. The other huge problem is we do NOT really get a glimpse of why they want to do this - other than the dancer, we see no JOY in what they are pursuing this, just the "tedious" annoying aspects of showbiz.
And yes, the acting is uniformly bad. Other than the dancer character, it's believable they are struggling actors and can't go anywhere because they can't act, barely sing but worse, have personalities that no one wants to be near ... and yes, I know people love Jewel Staite in Firefly but she reached her peak there - like Chekov, she's not believable in anything else and really, just awful here. To make it worse, they pile on the soap opera sub-plots that take forever to unfold over seasons that have little payoffs that we just don't care about anymore.
So, if you're planning on doing a behind the scenes of the entertainment biz series, you should watch this to avoid the pitfalls of bad casting, bad writing and poor characters. But otherwise, pretty pointless series.
The plots are mostly idiotic. I think Sally/Wife is kidnapped/taken prisoner at least 4 times in the first 2 seasons ... and LITERALLY he's shot at in every episode ... makes SF seem like Tombstone, AZ ... nice police commissioner/chief. It should be noted he's also pushed down the stairs at least 3 times in the first 2 seasons as well as about 7 break-ins into the house. John Schuck is a weird looking dude but good as the comic relief.
What's also funny is many of the same character actors re-appear even a few eps later - clearly in the 1970's, they figured people didn't care or would notice? AND you do get the greatest hits parade of 70's character actors in every ep.
So, an amusing time piece - watch it for the acting and chemistry and the SF scenes. If you appreciate weird 70's decorating, it's also a good time capsule. The pacing of the show is slow and you can wander away for a while without missing anything from mostly dumb plots and writing but Rock & Susan St. James are a believable couple and have nice chemistry.
In particular, if you're a fan of the book - you can compare your imagination of who you've casted, how you would've unfolded the script and how you would have directed the story cinematically. The story, plot and action unfolds at breakneck speed as they race to solve the riddle - however, there are parts of the film which bog down for exposition - but for those who've read the book (and who liked the book), the scenes play out much better because we know what's the gist but for those who have not read the book, some pertinent or important info might elude them as some scenes just fire info/details at you.
There seem to be some overly harsh negative reviews of the film, including Tom Hanks & Audrey Tautou performance which I frankly don't understand. Everyone is fine in this film and I wonder if it's just Catholic reviewers (whether they openly come out and disclose that or not) who loath even the mention of the subject matter that they cannot see anything beyond that.
DaVinci Code is not a great movie but it's a nice summer popcorn movie. Tom Hanks, as usual is solid - I was surprised at not only how gorgeous Audrey Tautou was but what a fine acting range she shows in her SECOND LAMNGUAGE - having only seen her in "mousy" roles, she was great. Of course, Ian McKellan really hams it up but that's what his role required and he seems to have great fun (as usual).
Again, don't be scared off by reviewers who might feel it's an affront to their religion. If they really watched the film, they'd see the issues are dealt with in a reasonably and complex manner. Certainly, it's your faith and you can be offended and that's your right - but at least be upfront and tell us that and not couch it by claiming it's the directing or the acting ... because that aspect is all just fine.
The story of an eccentric, reclusive detective who never meets his clients. He is presented with a case of missing safe deposit keys and the secrets it holds.
The cast is fine including Ryan O'Neal.
This might all be a spoiler.
First he?s a recluse and a mess and complaining about being up for three days hopped up on speed - next minute, he?s well groomed and leading man looking on a plane flight to Portland. Huh?
He?s supposed to be a functional illiterate but he seems to have ZERO problems navigating through society - again, huh?
He?s supposed to be so intuned with his senses and observational skills because it?s like he?s not from Earth or this society which we would all love to see like a modern day Sherlock Holmes but they seem to think we?re not ready to accept that so after an hour, they pretty much forget that. Huh?
His assistant wants to quit during the movie - subplot pointless.
My guess is this movie was supposed to be TWIN PEAKS David-Lynch kooky but Jake Kasdan just doesn't have the skills, talent or life-experience to pull it off. It?s a flat movie that sets up a weird character but immediately retreats from it because he?s not willing to go through with it - so why should we?
The movie is aptly named - it will have zero effect on your life as it?s pointless and not worth any of your time.
The message is interesting, thoughtful and well presented. It does an effective job of taking back to another time, place and mores. How you chose to judge the subject matter and your thoughts is another matter but my quibbles with the film are with the film-making.
This is somewhat of a spoiler but the film somewhat abruptly changes greatly from its first appearance and tone as a light, frothy *Shakeapeare in Love*- like movie to something much darker.
While Catherine McCormack is a beautiful woman and it?s understandable why men fall under her spell in Venice of that time, for us, she occasionally slips into the 20th century in her performance. She?s fine but we?re not quite convinced. Remember her in Braveheart? The cute, slight and doomed *girl* love interest of William Wallace? Then remember when Sophie Marceau walked on screen - all woman? That?s how it is in this film. She?s beautiful but slight in regards to her presence on screen.
Part of the problem is the script tries to be more clever than it is - for instance there is a *poetry-slam* contest that we keep hoping it?s going to get clever, funny or poignant but it never does.
It?s an interesting and thoughtful movie but it doesn?t quite make it.
This might be considered a spoiler alert so be warned but then again, they named the movie "Triple Cross" for the US market - you don't need to be a rocket scientest to see what direction the story and the main character are going in.
Frankly, nothing about the movie adds up - he's a debonair cat burgler who has an accomplice that basically calls attention to the crime - I'm surprised he wasn't caught after the 2nd time out.
He unconvincingly convinces the Germans to train him as a spy by asking - yes, by asking ... and the rest of the story unfolds in a unconvincing and slow manner - there's no suspense and every possible plot suspense is telegraphed and explained slowly. As for the Chris Plummer's performance, he's just all wrong - basically, Eddie Chapman is supposed to be so charming he gets away with it all but Chris Plummer's jokey manner makes him just smirky - that can work on a Bruce Willis level if you pump up the action but asking him to be Cary Grant is just too much - as a "charming" spy, he'd be shot in 2 minutes.
It's not a bad movie because the cast is great but it's just not good. It's worth seeing for the locations and beautiful women but not much else.
The movie is filled to the brim with recognizable names and faces and they're all fine but nothing great - though Cheech Marin immediately breathes life into the movie. And it's weird to see Woody Allen walking around the desert and a small Mexican town (actually in California but why quibble).
So, it's interesting to see a failed attempt at creating a CINEMA PARADISO or PAULINE AT THE BEACH but it's not much more than that. See it to add to your body of knowledge about film but there's not more to recommend it beyond that.
The whole thing is a pot of bad cliches of romantic comedy movies: the "always with a quip" best friend, "meet-cutes," running into an ex, bad breakups, the blonde with a strange sexual thing, etc ... ecetera, ecetera, ecetera - we've seen it all before - the only difference is a dog park instead of a singles bar and it's used sparingly and without any imagination.
The cast is good but they don't have much to work with.
It's a dog already and not the kind you want to take home.
They were obviously able to pull in a lot of favors in dragging in a bunch of semi-famous TV actors - everybody was scared to say no and didn't want to risk offending the powerful parent.
You know any movie is in trouble when the best actor in a movie is Joey Lawrence and Claudia Schiffer is second.
There are probably 10,000 unproduced scripts in Hollywood about fringe Hollywood players and their story in modern day Hollywood/LA. You know the cliches - usually, it's some unattractive schlub cruisng the Strip, the Hills, etc ... with his best bud - making the scene - all the name of ripping the lid off of the true Hollywood. Of course, it's not very revealing or interesting - SWINGERS is probably the exception to the rule. They get credit for casting a woman in the lead, Paiget Brewster (TV actor) but they made (with her help) her character shrill, annoying, un-likeable, vile and like the men who played the exact same part in 1,000 movies before her - making her so unattractive you wonder why anyone would care what happens to her.
The story - riddled with a million bad cliches ultimately even gets smaller - and ends as a tribute to "Pink Dot" - the ultimate Hollywood insider wink-wink. AS IF WE CARE!!!!! It's not even funny or clever - there's no point in explaining what Pink Dot is but here goes (it's a late night delivery service - the Hollywood webvan except they've been around for 20 years) - are you laughing yet?
This is a movie where the kid of a powerful person decided to make a movie - since their life's experience amounted to hanging out with second-rate wanna-be's and ordering from Pink Dot - that's the movie! Now, you figure how many favors you can call in and you write the story around when they can show up.
There are cable access shows with more imagination.
If you want to see all of the movies in the "upper-middle class navel-gazers who self-psycho-analyses every detail of their life" genre, then see this movie but only after you've seen ORDINARY PEOPLE, AMERICAN BEAUTY, ICE STORM and a couple dozen others.
Well-intentioned but sleep-inducing boring.
This movie is overlooked but it's brilliant in every aspect. It is a throwback comedy that neatly replicates Billy Wilder or Preston Sturges.
Peter O'Toole is a boozing matinee idol past his prime forced to appear on a variety show in the 1950s to pay off a tax debt. His reputation is not sterling so the young writer who's a huge fan is assigned to watch him and to make sure he arrives on "show-day."
Hilarity ensues. In 99% of the cases, that's just wishful thinking - in this case, hilarity actually ensues.
There are subplots within subplots and they ALL PAY OFF.
There is wild overacting by some of the greatest character actors of all time AND it's all great.
This is based on Mel Brooks early work-life on YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS so you also get a great glimpse at life behind the scenes of early TV.
If you've never seen this movie, you're lucky - because you get to see it for the first time.
While it seems static in some sense, it actually makes it more disquieting and scary. It's incredibly thought-provoking and while the special effects are obviously dated - the message and the reality of the situation are just as real and possible today.
While the plot may seemed cliched but this was one of the earliest movies to explore the subject - and it does it intelligently and efficiently.
You might be put off since it has a sci-fi name but it's no popcorn sci-fi movie, it's really a thoughtful drama.
It is a bit sterile and "safe" but also interesting to see how it would be made differently today.
As a 30-something guy, they are just painful to watch - the vaudeville acts are bad and boring - the burlesque is not just tame but boring. Never mind the pointless subplots and the Ekland-Robards relationship which is not believable.
It was probably great for its time but the expiration on this movie has passed.
If your only objection is to see Ms. Ekland topless, not sure it's really her topless anyway - there are plenty of other movie choices.
No doubt he is great as a music video director - flashing images on the screen as the song tells the story - but you cannot build a movie on just flashing images - since he cannot tell a story and have no ideas how people talk to each other - his movies and this one, BAIT is completely devoid of anything remotely resembling a movie.
If you enjoy the short "cinematics" between video game play - this is the movie for you. What exactly is this movie about? Well, it has possibilities, the Treasury Department decides to use a relatively innocent decoy as a dupe in drawing out a hacker - adventures and attempts at humor ensues.
What format did Antoine Fuqua decide to tell this story? - well, since is frame of reference and sum of cinematic knowledge & of life apparently stretches all the way back to DIE HARD - that's what we get - warmed over DIE HARD. But instead of a smirking Bruce Willis (at least original in the beginning) with sarcastic comments to uncut the tension and make it more real - in this case, substitute "hip-hop/street" in the guise of Jamie Foxx - Jamie certainly tries hard but maybe Spike Lee was right in his comments about Africian Americans and their "minstrel" movie roles.
And while this innocent dupe is wandering around NYC getting into new troubles, do we get any glimmer of humor or thought in the story in keeping him out of trouble? - this might constitute a spoiler alert if anybody cares but in one instance, they think he needs money so they dress up an undercover agent as a mailman and hand him a check - I hope they didn't shutdown the set to spend all day to think of this one. Or that the Treasury Department has a whole special underground computer facility with a hundred agents working on this case but of course, the few that come in contact with Jamie Foxx undercover are the same ones he sees over and over again.
But that isn't what crushes the movie - what crushes it is it makes no sense at all and insults our intelligence at every level. And the final insult, we have an omnipotent hacker who can get into an impenetrable government computer & vault and track the whereabouts of Jamie Foxx's character in NYC but when you see the final shot - we're suppose to believe his not-very bright partner with the heart condition was able to elude the hacker and drive around NYC with a excavator to bury the loot in a place where thousands of people work there everyday?
If you accept everything at face value, the director apparently made of list of shots he would like to see in a movie - mostly music video shots like helicopter infra-red shots of Manhatten, a tanker skidding on a wet street, people typing on computers, a taxi hitting a Porsche on a wet street, an alley footchase through (get ready) a wet street or places that make no sense like a racetrack (just to be "original.") - then add in a bunch of fog machines and water hoses, you have a movie according to the director - the rest of film-making: plot, storytelling, acting, coherence and intelligence - that's all secondary (or worse) to moving the camera around real fast and quick cuts.
Empty and stupid.
Maybe the intent was to create a metaphor of the late 1960's - the tumultuous collision of the old ways and the coming youthquake all in the guise of a family's problems on their summer retreat - if that was the intent, it fails. The story is too small and riddled with cliches.
And if was merely a story about marriage, love, fidelity, etc ... well, it's not a particularly compelling story and while the actors seem to be in a heartfelt drama, the director thinks he's doing a nostalgia movie - there is a disconnect between the story and the visual story. Ultimately, we're the ones cheated because we're completely confused by the motivations of the characters. If this was the first movie where a woman felt trapped by her times (allegedly) and decides to explore what else is out there, we might forgive the director/writer for skimping on some details - but if you're telling the 2-millionth version of this cliche, please let us understand why she decided to make this decision.
Especially when you decide to make the husband a good guy who has to work long hours to support his family (on screen - when he's not with them, he's shown working) - we don't gain much sympathy for the woman. And the cause is not helped when the other guy is a doofus looking hippy guy who could use a shower. Maybe that why's this is "chick flick" - when guys can't figure out anything remotely appealing about the character of the "other guy."
This is pretty much a one-sided movie - so if you don't mind that the guys are cardboard, you don't really understand the motivation of the main characters, and the metaphors are too ambitious for the story & director - then you might enjoy this movie.
It'd be hard to find anything worthwhile regarding this film. I suppose it's commendable that so many people were willing to play nasty, unpleasant characters in this movie - especially Greg Kinnear. And Jason Biggs does actually go through the whole movie playing a character different than the one in AMERICAN PIE. But that's pretty much it.
It starts off as if Jason Bigg's character is going to be a farmboy rube coming to NY for college but that only really lasts about 15 minutes and he ditches his bad haircut and earflap hat when he gets to NYC - while that premise seemed unlikely and pointless, that's pretty much the last idea in this movie.
Amy Heckerling, the director of CLUELESS apparently reached the sum of her knowledge about teens/coeds with that movie. She repeats her limited knowledge which is now about 10 years behind the times in their "slang" and manners. Ouch!
But it gets worse. Not only do the college room-mates look to be 29 years old, they are supposedly rich and immoral - which can be played for laughs but in this case, because they look 29 - they just come off as sleazebags - not to mention that date-rape drugs are pretty unfunny.
Mena Suvari's character doesn't make sense at all. Jason's Bigg's character moves into an empty room at an animal hospital - whaaaattt??? That's exactly what kind of movie this is - things happen that make no sense - it's not funny - was it supposed to be indie film weird? It's all just a big huh.
My guess is the premise that Jason Bigg's character was supposed to be "the loser" but in reality, he is the "winner' and everybody else is a loser. And my guess is that they were so set out not to do the cliches, they forgot to be funny or serious or have a plot. What we have left is pointless. It vacillates between a Lifetime Movie (not kidding) to a bad teen comedy to a bad drama - sometimes all in one scene.
Watch this movie if only to see how not to make a movie.
That's why CENTER STAGE is such a pleasant surprise - the dancing scenes are very well staged and except for one sequence in the beginning, they move briskly and never feel "classical" or "stagy."
You know what you're getting with a movie where people are auditioning for a performing arts school and the story is of their first year there - so while it's not filled with great surprises and some of the characters first appear to be "stock" (the taskmaster teacher, the overbearing parent, etc ...) they actually become full-fledged characters. All the cliches are there but not unexpected - but it's handled expertly with a good script, fine performances and well-rounded characters you care about.
As long as you like dance, you'll appreciate the work dancers put in and you even learn a little about a ballet company. If you hate dance of any kind, this movie is obviously not for you but you'd be missing out on great acting performances by most of the cast - never mind they're all great dancers - a solid script and story that moves crisply and precisely. The ballets and dance scenes are expertly shot and except for a few moments, you never feel that it's stagy and you're too far from the action.
The movie is essentially a year in the life of a Jewish family in 1954. The youngest falls for the new girl at their now-integrated high school. The older son is interested in a blonde mystery girl and how racism pervades their life. It's handled gently and with nostalgia and the characters are interesting and believable. The performances of the two teens are great.
However, we are watching this unfold from a distance - unlike DINER where we felt we knew everybody and we understood everything exactly - in fact, at one point, we pay a visit to the diner and wished the guys at DINER were there.
The movie is also way too long - in fact, the whole father subplot could be cut out without changing the movie much - it's only needed for one scene that's out of place in the movie anyway.
All of the attempts at Neil Simon humor fall completely flat.
It's a pleasant movie and all the performances are nice but there's not much there in terms of the stories.
While movies don't have to have endearing characters, you have to relate to them on some level to empathize with them. So that even if the circumstances of their lives or are not ours but we have find a connection on some level to be interested in them - in this movie, there are no such characters.
Some of them we are just tired of them because this movie is so long and enough already. The scary thing is we can relate to Son of Sam's breakdown more than any of the characters because we are starting to wonder if this dreary mess is ever going to end. Each character is unpleasant because they lead small, petty lives and are just whiners - we get it - let's move on Spike. Not interesting. And any characters we care about just dissolve into a pornographic and sleazy means.
Spike was a great director for exactly two movies - Spike, what happened? - he starts the movie by placing his characters in front of a sign that reads Dead End - as if that's not bad enough, in case we didn't get the pan on it or the lingering closeup, he cuts back to that sign about 50 times. In a local community college film class, you'd be derided as a rank amateur - let along a big budget movie.
Spike also appears in the film as a TV announcer - we know Spike can act - he choose not to act for his role - why? Who knows?
This movie is pointless, tiresome and dreary.
So, it could be a quirky, wacky, weird indie film if it's populated with the right characters, and script. Unfortunately, they run of ideas as soon as she leaves NYC.
And frankly, it's Heather Graham - we could care less about her after a while. She's just not interesting - she's just bland, boring and frankly stops acting after a while. While they desperately start throwing wacky characters into the mix to revive the movie, it just doesn't work and instead of just calling it a day - they start throwing more characters into the mix so now it's just weird, tedious, boring and really, really long. Luke Wilson's slow drawl acting style slows an already crawling movie to dead halt - why exactly were these two married?
Don't bother and commit to this.
The opening setup is undercut by bad acting and the instant the "bad" girl shows up, you can guess exactly what's going to happen - and in case you don't, another character tells you.
Every character is false. The person who casted this movie and the director have obviously never set foot outside of West Hollywood. These people are so not the Hamptons or Newport - there is a difference in the way they dress, look and talk and without that difference, you completely uncut your point about the rich are "different." They're look like attractive mall kids.
This movie has zero suspense - it was obviously directed by someone who should be doing something else with their life - without talent, watching Hitchcock and aaron Spelling and trying to steal their moves is no life - give it up!
It's easy to blame the actors for absolutely no attempt to act throughout the movie but it's the directors fault for not being to give direction - every character is introduced by their character trait in the 3 seconds of their appearance - no point in trying to create subtlety or surprise.
Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk and talk some more - and then finally - finally - the movie ends.
The cast is fine but you can only do so much when you're assigned bland dialogue.
While Sarah Polley is a fine actress and does the best she can in this role - Here's a tip for budding filmmmakers - if you're casting your character to be upper-crust/upper income, it's distracting that you ask the actress to not smile or to hold her hand in front of her face because her teeth are not perfect - as her character's should be. Oh the other hand, it's probably the most interesting thing about this film - how Sarah's going to try and hid her teeth in a particular scene.