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Cries from the Heart (1994)
Starts of well but ends terribly
First off, I would like to point out that while I am not an expert, the way the trial was handled will insult your intelligence. Firstly, the prosecution never proved that 'facilitated learning' actually works. Irresponsible for both the prosecution(because they can get an appeal) and the defense for not acting on this. As another commenter said, facilitated learning was proved untrue. Secondly, they used Terry as the translator who has personal interest, and even will testify, in the trial which is just stupid. If the court had allowed him to testify that way, they would have brought in someone neutral otherwise they would be just asking for an appeal. Thirdly, this child was never asked specific questions about the defendant by the prosecution(birthmarks, details of the event, etc.) and even when asked by the defense specific questions like when it started, he could not answer. If that isn't reasonable doubt I don't know what is and a competent lawyer would have gotten an acquittal.
Bottom line, it starts off well with the pressures of being the parent of a child with autism, but the trial makes this movie wholly unbelievable.
The Wood (1999)
A simple film
This is the type of film that you can just sit back and enjoy. The male leads(Diggs, Epps and Jones) have chemistry as well as their young counterparts. The plot is simple and easy to follow. Roland(Diggs) is about to get married, but chickens out and goes over an old girlfriends house instead.Then Mike(Epps) and Slim(Jones) are sent over there to go get him before the wedding. While getting him sobered up, Mike reminisced on when they first met. This movie is better than movies of the same theme(The Best Man, The Brothers, etc.) because the male leads are more likable and less one dimensional, although Rolands reasons for not wanting to get married aren't explained enough. Also, the girl that plays young Alicia is way too old for the role.
Bottom line, the narrative by Epps is good and it's not riddled with stereotypes. Also, the 80's soundtrack is great and this is an entertaining movie. 7/10
Good, but forgettable
Costantine is yet another Hollywood attempt to adapt a comic book into a movie. I myself have never read them so I am speaking for the majority of you who have not read it.
First, the acting in this movie was good and bad at times. Rachael Weiss is great as usual and Keanu Reeves is fair in this role because his character doesn't have to have emotions. However, when his character is supposed to have emotions, Reeves is wooden. This is an acting and/or directing flaw. Some of supporting cast outshine him, but if you're a casual movie watcher, you won't notice.
Second, the dark atmosphere is good but it's a little too dark at times, meaning hard too see. The photography has been done in Dark City and The Matrix already. The graphic are good but not anything new. Some fight scenes are good, but some fall flat. The plot is confusing for those who don't pay attention to details.The characters are somewhat sympathetic. It is entertaining and sometimes intriguing.
My Rating 6/10