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4/10
The fight scenes were a bit dodgy.
13 September 2019
I liked the first two John Wick movies and I didn't hate this one but a lot of the fight scenes looked badly staged. Too many of the bad guys looked at though they just sort of stood there waiting for JW to hit, kick, shoot, or cut them. I noticed it right away with the fight scene in the library at the beginning of the film. Looked as though the Russian guy just stopped fighting back at some point. I was hoping that maybe it was just that one scene but I noticed the problem throughout most of the film. Needed a better story and fewer (but better staged) fight scenes.
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Glass (2019)
3/10
Boring and anticlimactic.
13 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The movie kept hinting at a climax that would take place at or near the grand opening of a new, tallest-in-the-city skyscraper in Center City Philadelphia only to have the big showdown with the three "superheroes" take place in a parking lot about a mile or so from downtown. The whole thing was ridiculous. And boring.
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Suspiria (I) (2018)
2/10
Just finished watching this on DVD
30 January 2019
I just finished watching this and I have no idea what I just watched. The only thing I can say with any certainly at all is that with numerous poorly integrated story lines, some extremely ugly choreography, and a running time of nearly two and a half hours they forgot to make the damned thing scary.
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The Meg (2018)
1/10
A Remarkable Feat.
19 August 2018
There are lots of things that a movie about a giant, man-eating shark could be but I never imagined that BORING would be one of them. I closed my eyes to doze at least three times during this film. It was filled with long, talky scenes where nothing much was happening and where you could tell that nothing much was going to happen for quite some time. The appearance of the shark barely made a dent in the movie's overall flat, boring tone. If I were involved in any way with the making of this movie I'd leave it off of my resume.
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Lathe of Heaven (2002 TV Movie)
Nothing but a series of costume changes.
11 August 2004
I've read "The Lathe of Heaven" twice and seen the 1980 version once. I loved the book but wasn't thrilled with the first film version. I'd thought that with all the new technology available to filmmakers that this latest version would be a huge improvement. WRONGO!!! This latest film version seems to go out of its way to strip away everything, EVERYTHING that was interesting about the book and the original film version. Here, George Orr seems to be nothing but some kind of paranormal fashion designer and interior decorator. He wakes up from his dream to find that everyone has better clothes and a more upscale decor. In fact, it seems that all imagination and budget went into costume and set design, both of which are quite good. Unfortunately, that is the ONLY good thing I can say about this movie. Read the book.
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Gave it a shot.
9 February 2004
I wasn't particularly interested in seeing this movie because the reviews made it sound like exactly the type of movie it turned out to be (for once). But it was in at my local video store so I gave it a chance since I've enjoyed Hope Davis in everything else I've seen her in. But frankly, this movie just wasn't that engaging. In fact, I'd sum the whole thing up like this:

1.)Husband suspects wife is having an affair. 2.)Tension ensues. 3.)Entire household gets the flu. 4.)Denouement 5.)The End
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Intimacy (2001)
The usual French navel-gazing, but in English.
20 January 2004
I wanted to like this movie because I like the two main actors but it got to a point where I realized that this was just another movie by a French director complete with neurotic, obsessive, dissolute characters humping and eventually yelling at each other about God knows what (think "The Piano Teacher"). In fact, there was a lot of yelling (and humping) in this movie but it all might as well have been badly translated and subtitled for all the sense I could make of it. More French angst delivered to us in the Trojan horse of an English-language film. Very sneaky.
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different reactions
11 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
***WEE SPOILERS***Can the people who like this movie please stop assuming that those of us who didn't like it were disappointed because it wasn't a "Dawn of the Dead" or standard slasher type flick. I knew going in that it was going to be no such thing. I stated in an earlier post that it is NOT a zombie movie. And I might add that I WASN'T disappointed that it was not a zombie movie. I found the premise of a virus that reduces people to pure rage far more disturbing than any run of the mill zombie. Also, please stop assuming that we didn't like it because we went in with our brains turned off, ready to be spoon-fed typical horror movie cliches and crap. Finally, stop assuming that we didn't like it because it was shot on digital video and had a "gritty, grainy" look to it rather than the standard Hollywood gloss. I have no problem with that type of "raw" looking photography.

I didn't like this movie because I just didn't like it. I don't think it made the most of its premise; it was poorly paced (which is not to say that I wanted it to be paced like a "Terminator" flick); there were HUGE plot holes, some of which I mention in my earlier post; the characters did things that made no sense (and didn't do things that would have made perfect sense); and the movies central theme about man's capacity for violence and cruelty is not especially earth-shattering. Hasn't anyone ever read or seen "Lord of the Flies"? Finally, beneath the "grit and grain" of the digital video photography there IS a typical Hollywood flick lurking--just a slower paced on. Near the end when Jim finds Selena after his wet, shirtless Rambo-like adventure around the estate they end up embracing and kissing, finally acknowledging their attraction--how cute and romantic and Hollywood. I love the fact that he lunges at her without first reassuring her that he was not infected--this, despite the fact that she is holding a machete and he has previously seen her in action with it.

If you liked this movie that's fine. I would never begrudge anyone something that provided them with enjoyment and food for thought. But we folks who DIDN'T like it weren't necessarily sitting in the theater in a brain-dead stupor waiting for a British version of a Jerry Bruckheimer or Wes Craven movie--which seems to be the prevailing assumption. You are wrong. An actively engaged brain can decide that it likes something or that it doesn't. I, along with others, did not like this movie. That doesn't make me (or them) dolts.
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Stop it with the "thinking man's horror movie" nonsense.
8 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
***POSSIBLE SPOILERS*** Some of us plebes munching on popcorn were able to determine that this movie didn't make a lick of sense and that is was not the "horror movie" that the reviews and commercials had promised us. "Scary as hell"??? Huh? "Thinking man's horror movie"??? Puh-leez. First of all, STOP calling it a "zombie movie". There isn't a single zombie in the entire flick. A zombie is a reanimated corpse. The infected victims in this movie don't die and then come back to life; they are simply consumed by an uncontrollable rage. Other "thinking" critics describe the infected as being "zombie cannibals" or "flesh-eating zombies" when it is never established that the infected actually ate human flesh--or ate anything for that matter. They may very well BITE in the same way that a raging dog will but do they even think to eat? Or are they so utterly consumed with rage that they don't notice or recognize hunger? An early scene in which two of the infected are set afire while chasing the protaganist and yet don't waver in their pursuit pretty much establishes that their instinct for self-preservation is gone.

And why don't they attack each other? They seemed to "hunt" in packs which is something that a social animal would do and yet these monsters are infected with a very antisocial rage; a rage so intense that swarms of rats flee the infecteds' approach. Yet the infected operate almost like a gang. People who need people...

As for the film's "man's inhumanity to man" subtext or its exploration of our darker nature and instincts,blah,blah,blah...so what? Haven't you people ever seen a war movie--particularly a Vietnam war movie. These are not new themes and they are not handled with any real panache or originality in this movie. And why do the people in this movie assume that the virus has gone global and that there is "no future". It would be next to impossible for a virus that manifests itself quite vividly within seconds to jump from an island nation like Great Britain to "Paris and New York". Only one character in the entire movie questions the possibility of this and he is a minor character who is chained to a radiator, ignored, and eventually killed. The predicament of the two female characters, who are surrounded by men, hinges on this perception of "no future". It is a perception that the movie failed to acutely convey, in my opinion and I couldn't understand why the characters seemed to have a last-people-on-earth mentality. It seemed inevitable that some "uninfected" country would eventually come to the rescue--as they in fact do. In the meantime, the "infected" become almost peripheral to the numbing story that is being told and I can't figure out for the life of me what people found so scary about this movie. Spare us the sequel.
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Wag the Dog (1997)
Watered down Robert Altman
1 July 2003
I wanted to like this movie but about 30 minutes in I just gave up. I had to suspend too much disbelief to buy the phony war scam the characters were pulling off. I don't know what a phony, computer generated war would look like but it would have to be more compelling that the image of Kirsten Dunst clutching a kitty. Part of my problem with this movie was casting; just too many actors that I find annoying. Robert DeNiro is just Robert DeNiro--the same Robert DeNiro he's been in his last half dozen or so movies. Dustin Hoffman is simply a chore to look at and listen to and then there's Anne "I'm a lesbian, oh wait, no I'm not" Heche. They even throw in the grating Dennis Leary for good measure. And why was Willie Nelson in this movie? It was around the time that Nelson was having the jam session with the black musician that I realized that this was simply Levinson doing a watered down Altman schtick. Silly and unengaging. Rent "Bob Roberts" instead.
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They (2002)
Crap!!!
16 June 2003
According to the TRIVIA link on IMDb it is estimated that up to 10 people worked on the script for this travesty of a movie; a fact that certainly answers the question of how many script writers it takes to screw in a lightbulb. Apparently 1 to hold the bulb and 9 to pass out from sheer boredom. Nothing will prepare you for how long, slow and ponderous this film is. Actually, I'm not sure that it is long but it felt that way. After a somewhat promising opening scene this movie proceeds to go out of its way to NOT be scary. And things weren't helped along by making us endure one of the most annoying main characters in recent film history. SHE will annoy you to death and THEY will bore you to tears. Avoid.
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Wrong Turn (I) (2003)
8/10
Ignore the critics
13 June 2003
This was one of the better horror flicks I've scene in a long time--and I've been waiting A LONG TIME. A straightforward, tidy, efficient little gem that doesn't waste time on silly plot twists, budding romance subplots, or characters cracking wise when they should be scared to death. It's not the most original horror flick. It borrows heavily from the Peacock Brothers episode of the "X-Files", as well as from "Friday the 13th", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", and the better parts of "Jeepers Creepers". However, it pulls together different elements of those films to form an effective and satisfying whole.
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Carrie (1976)
My all-time favorite movie
5 June 2003
This is my favorite movie of all time. I would go see this movie the way some people would go see The Rocky Horror Picture Show. If it was playing somewhere I'd go see it. Great acting. Great camera work. Check out the scene where Norma (P.J. Soles) is collecting ballets at the prom and the camera starts at Carrie's and Tommy's table, works its way across the gym, up the stage backdrop, and out over the stage where the bucket of blood sits. This scene was done in ONE take. "Carrie" should have at least been nominated for Best Picture in 1976. It was one of the last great horror films of that decade. A definite classic. Avoid the TV remake at all cost.
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watered down Atom Egoyan
14 February 2003
Overrated Atom Egoyan imitation with Annette Bening phoning in her performance from what seems to be a completely different movie. If this movie hadn't ended with violence it would have disappeared from filmgoers' radar almost immediately. Rent "The Adjuster" or "Exotica" instead.
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Signs (2002)
Lame
27 January 2003
It's official. I am not a fan of M.Night Shyamalan and his lame Spielberg-lite nonsense. And would someone please tell Mel Gibson that he doesn't do "emotional" very well or rather he overdoes it all too well. The films other flaws have been pretty well covered in other post but let me add just one more observation. I didn't really get the sense that there was a massive global invasion going on despite all the news coverage that the family watched. I just didn't feel it and that "news" scene where someone got a shot of an alien during a child's birthday party was incredibly anticlimactic despite the news anchor telling us that the footage we were about to see was "very disturbing". Oh please. The "alien" looked just like the guy in that old photo of Bigfoot that turned out to be a hoax.

This is definitely the last Shyamalan I will ever bother to see.
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Heathers (1988)
RIP-OFF OF 70's FLICK
6 December 2002
Hate to break it to you folks but this film is not original or classic or any of the other things that people say about it. What it is is a blatant rip-off of a movie that came out in the late seventies called "Massacre at Central High." The makers of "Heathers" simply changed the gender of the members of the clique and named them all Heather. It wouldn't be so bad if at least somewhere along the way the makers of "Heathers" had acknowledged their debt to "Massacre at Central High"but since they don't let me be the first to tell you that "Heathers" is a SHAMELESS RIP-OFF!!! Check out the original flick if you can find it. You'll see.
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unrelenting
4 December 2002
The "Glenngarry Glen Ross" of relationship movies. I saw this with someone I was sort of dating at the time and I think that this movie pretty much nipped that right in the bud. An anti-date movie to beat the band. Not for the faint of heart.
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Where "funny" goes to die!!!
2 December 2002
What planet are you people from?! That anyone could find this movie even remotely funny is proof positive that there is no God. Watching this was like being trapped in a room with a bunch of potheads who think that they're being way funnier than they in fact are. And the fact that some people on this site described the "humor" in this abomination as "subtle" is probably funnier than anything in the movie itself. Would someone please explain to me how a man humping a refrigerator or a girl saying that she needs some spermicide, "You know, for my pu**y," is subtle. This is the movie that you'd expect a bunch of twelve year old boys with a movie camera and too much time on their hands to make. This movie was actually painful to watch. It was like watching the very concept of "funny" sicken, die and rot before my very eyes. Not for the squeamish. Biohazard alert definitely warranted.
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Chasing Amy (1997)
NO!!!
2 December 2002
This is just a film version of the old homophobic assumption that some women are lesbians only because they haven't met or been laid by the right guy. Guy meets girl. Girl likes girls. Girl decides she likes guy. Girl dates guy. Guy dumps girl. Yeah right.
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Exquisite melancholy
26 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers
POSSIBLE SPOILERS--I wasn't prepared for this movie. I was expecting something along the lines of BLADE RUNNER by way of Spielberg. Which is to say that I expected more of an action/adventure experience. Well, A.I. certainly isn't that. However, I was extremely moved by this film. I've watched it five times and each time have been swept up in its exquisite melancholy. I think the best way to approach this film is as a futuristic fairy tale. Get all thoughts of gun toting "Blade Runners" out of your head and follow our sad hero, David, as he searches desperately for a way to make his "mother" return the love that he has been made to feel for her. In a scene that manages to convey tenderness and, on subsequent viewings, an almost unimaginable cruelty David's owner programs him to love her only to discard him later thus setting him on a tragic quest that will span over two thousand years. The spectre of "loss" hangs over the entire movie. Loss of loved ones, old friends, great cities, humanity and even love itself. But through it all David persists with single-minded resolve that is both sad and, I think, terrifying. Alot of people find the part of the movie where David wakes up two thousand years later to a new Ice Age to be unnecessary and alot of them also mistake the beings that David encounters for aliens (they are in fact highly evolved Mechas [robots] that have survived the catastrophic global climate change) but I didn't mind this sequence. It only underscored the strength and timelessness of David's feelings and also the sadness and cruelty of what has been done to him. You'll either love this movie or hate it. I, of course, loved it, own a copy and have every intention of seeing it again and again.
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10/10
Wonderful!!!!
13 November 2002
I loved this movie. LOVED IT!!! Unfortunately, it was released here in Philadelphia the week of the terrorist attacks and was lost in the madness. Went to see it with a friend I'd lost contact with and who usually likes edgier fare and he loved it as well. Great story, funny, engagingly paced, at times almost lyrical, and even a bit dark and suspenseful towards the end. A wonderful,funny and romantic date movie. Written and directed by a MAN. A man named BRAD!

Due of on video sometime in December 2002. Look for it.

*****out of*****!!!
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Keyser Soze/John Doe cancel each other out
13 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS!!!!!

Didn't like it. The "twist" ending was the equivalent of finding out that everything up until that point had been a dream. And if I understand correctly that Verbal (Kevin Spacey) is actually Keyser Soze then it's as though I sat through "Seven" again. Keyser Soze and the John Doe character in "Seven" are both portrayed as these elusive and almost mythic figures and in each film this elusive figure is equated with "the Devil himself." Someone actually utters that line in both films when talking about our mystery man. So when Kevin Spacey pops up in both roles they just sort of cancel each other out for me. Maybe I would have enjoyed "The Usual Suspects" a little more if I had not seen "Seven", although the "everything-you've-seen-and-heard-up-to-this-point-might-have-been-a-lie" ending would have still ultimately lowered it quite a few points in my estimation.
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HA HA HA!!
13 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS--Was this a joke? Am I to understand that the spirit that haunted this house, this "Mt.Everest of haunted houses", was the spirit of a man who was p***ed off in life because he was short? Was that the upshot of it all? Maybe something got lost in the translation from book to screen. I know that Richard Matheson on whose book this movie was based was the same author that wrote "The Shrinking Man" and that his books supposedly touch on themes of man's loss of "stature" and control in these modern times (at least that's what I've heard) but LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE just seems to tack this theme on at the very end in order to achieve a quick resolution or a cheap and corny punchline. I'm not sure which one they were going for. Oh yeah, and the rest of the movie was about as scary a dwarf.

* out of *****.
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The Matrix (1999)
vastly overrated
7 November 2002
One of the most overrated movies of all time. This movie actually started to look dated as I was watching it. I rushed out to see this after hearing a few coworkers RAVE about it. It was the first movie I'd ever seen on the big screen that I almost fell asleep on. I went with a friend and he wasn't impressed either. Later I kept coming back to TOTAL RECALL (another film I didn't like) while trying to figure out why I didn't like this movie. Then I realized that it was pretty much a rehash of TOTAL RECALL;everything from the guy living a "false" life, the band of "revolutionaries', the turncoat and even a psychic. Both films devolved into alot of shooting and the director of THE MATRIX also had the annoying and unfortunate habit of shooting alot of action sequences in slow motion. Nothing robs an action flick of its momentum and visceral kick like slow motion. I also found it baffling that people were making such a big deal about the "stop and rotate" photography where a character will for instance jump up in the air and "freeze" as though he's in a two dimenisional photograph but then have the camera orbit around him in three dimensional space. I remember seeing this done in a music video YEARS before THE MATRIX came out.

And those three "men in black"-type guys-what was up with them? I don't know how long it took me before I realized that I was supposed to be taking these guys seriously. The three of them together could not muster a thimbles worth of menace. They just looked goofy with the way they'd show up in a scene and look around SO SERIOUSLY.

Finally, I started to realize at some point that the task at hand for our heroes could not possibly be achieved in the time that remained so there was a lack of suspense that I only became fully aware of after I'd left the theatre. There was simply nowhere for this film to go except Sequel/Franchise Land and my interest would not survive the trip.
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The Shining (1980)
Huh??
7 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILER ALERT-I saw this movie when it first came out and was not impressed. I even watched it again a year or so later on cable and still didn't like it. A few months ago I was talking to a couple of guys who loved the movie and they were talking about all this subtle, symbolic stuff that was in the movie that supposedly made it so creepy. I started to think that maybe I'd been missing something all along. One guy described the "blood-filled elevator" scene as representing "fear of menstruation". Since I was 16 or 17 when I first saw the film I thought that maybe some of this "symbolism" had gone right over my head. So I go out a couple months ago and rent the movie and watch it again for the first time in over 20 years and all I could think afterwards was that those guys were talking out of their a**es. Fear of menstruation? Huh? The first person in the movie to have this vision of the blood-filled elevator was the kid, Danny. How old was he? Five? Six? Why would a 5 or 6 year old BOY have a fear of menstruation. Wendy (Shelly Duval) sees the same bloody scene later in the film but I guess her son is more afraid of menstruation than she is since he had the vision first.

These guys also tried to tell me that the movie had something to do with American Indians. An earlier post on this site says the same thing and suggests that we research it on the internet. This movie was released in 1980, way before the internet as we know it existed. Were we supposed to sit around waiting for the internet to be invented and for someone to put up a "The Shining" site so that this movie would finally reveal its scary treasures? If I have to research the movie on the internet for it to become scary then the movie doesn't work. As for the Indian thing, one of the guys observed that as the movie progressed Wendy started wearing her hair like an Indian (whatever that means) and that in one scene she was wearing moccasins. OOOhhh SCARY!!! Didn't this story take place out West? Don't people out there who AREN'T in symbol laden horror movies wear all kinds of Indian and Indian inspired clothing and jewelry? What the hell?! So what.

Finally, I thought that Shelly Duval was horribly miscast and Jack Nicholson was creepy right from the beginning of the movie so that I never got the sense that he was gradually going insane once he arrived at the hotel. For a time I thought that the movie was being intentionally ambiguous about whether the hotel was having a malevolent effect on Jack or whether his "personal demons" were getting the better of him. The film might have been better if it had maintained this ambiguity but instead it scuttled it altogether as soon as we see that Wendy is seeing some of the same apparitions that her son and Jack saw. So it's not all just in Jack's head. And of course there was the fact that the previous caretaker had gone nuts and murdered his family.

I'm not one of those people who was disappointed that the movie wasn't faithful to the book. I didn't like the book either. If only someone could go back in time and stop Stephen King from writing that novel we could have been spared both his dreck and Kubrick's.
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