Reviews

40 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
3/10
This Museum Is Boring
19 January 2007
You would think that a movie with Ben Stiller, Ricky Gervais, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams and a big budget with great concept would be a fun family film with many laughs.

You would be wrong.

In all fairness, I can't fully review this film since my entire family (along with many other groups) walked out of the theater to demand money back (or in our family's case snuck into the amazing and wonderful film Pan's Labyrinth).

But why would we walk out of a film we had planned to see and paid good money for you might ask? In a word: boring. Boring boring boring. Not a single joke was funny, and I had a feeling that the film was going to be terrible from the second scene where we meet Ben Stiller's ex-wife's husband who talks about "Chilly Willy" and is described as being a Batman of Wall Street. There were many groans throughout the theater until we had enough.

The two positive things I can say for the film (up to what we saw anyway) were sets and CGI effects. Other than that it was complete rubbish and a serious letdown. The only reason why I imagine that this film has done so well in the box office is due to a lack of any family-friendly films to compete for the big bucks. (Or perhaps my family is part of the problem by sneaking into more deserving films from bad ones like this instead of diverting money away from them).

If I can save you time and money and aggravation from bringing your loved ones and your self from seeing this film, then I hope my family's misery has at least benefited someone else.
4 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Cyxork 7 (2006)
2/10
Glad this "franchise" is dead
16 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Since you can ask your friends' opinions and read reviews about mainstream films most anywhere, I try comment on the smaller, harder to find films which have little written about them (and the few comments you will find are usually cast and crew plugging the film). Hopefully I'll help someone who is debating on whether the effort they might put into finding and seeing a smaller, hard to find film is really worth it.

That said, "Cyxork 7" - a very high concept comedy - fails on every single level. I did not laugh once during the entire film, which is surprising especially since Greg Proops is involved. Dropping the f bomb for emphasis is not funny. Having running commentary in numerous points is not funny. Kicking someone in the balls is not funny unless the setup and payoff is good. For the entire film, the jokes have no setup and what's more, the characters are not only flat and uninteresting, their motivations hardly make any sense.

Like I said, the premise of the film had me interested, which is why I saw it at the Fine Arts Theater in Los Angeles. But the film seems to have an identity crisis of whether it wants to be drama or comedy.

The editing was awful. The scenes drag far, far too long and instead of cutting on a joke or trimming needless scenes (maybe because there are a lot that don't go anywhere), they linger. In particular I think of the scene between the 2 actors who have an affair on the side and the camera pans out for a few seconds then we cut. The actors all seemed uncomfortable with their lines.

Ray Wise does a decent job and plays it straight, but the only problem is so does everyone else. This is a comedy, where things need to be over the top to emphasize the ridiculousness of the concept. Perhaps the best scene is that of the producer, which at least was colorful and he seemed like someone you could hate.

That brings me to another point, there's no sense of tone. The GNN news thing - is it supposed to be serious? Because the 2 anchors swear like sailors as though this were funny, and are very self aware of how cute they are being, which sucks you right out of the humor. (Now it would be much funnier if they played it straight but said absurd things). I mean, you have to ground this in some level of reality. Also, the text full of swears and innuendo was not funny but annoying, and simply repeating what the anchors already had said. Now if they had been established as an alternate news channel MAYBE I could buy it, but even so, it's not so much the credibility as the fact the actors seem to giggle as though they think everything they say is hilarious.

As for the plot, so many loose threads never come to fruition: the lesbian story between the news correspondent (why is she there again?) and the cam operator - I guess it's funny because they're lesbians? The nerd who is taping the behind the scenes footage and trying to direct his girlfriend act never makes sense - I thought maybe he would use the footage as blackmail, or to show he's a better director, or perhaps he & everyone else who wants to direct would create a bunch of competing directors, but nope I was wrong, this goes nowhere and just seems like a lazy cutaway to bad quality video. The pregnant actor's wife who held everyone hostage and then everything's hunky dory?

I understand this was low budget which is fine but it's not funny. I actually would have been happier to see more physical comedy which would have lightened the tone instead of everyone being so serious. Oh yes, why would nobody on the crew leave instead of risk their lives? Do they want to break in that bad? (Again, lack of motivation here).

The one saving grace was the idea of actors killing themselves to boost their careers. Could have been funny but then it becomes very dark and again the tone is awkward. Not to mention the final "And she died by a cart" post script at the end was out of place.

Pretty much I was left scratching my head. So did they complete the movie or just the shot? What happens to the franchise? To the wife? To everyone else's careers? But by that time, you'll be walking out of the theater or turning off the film because the movie doesn't seem to care and neither should you about seeing this film.

VERDICT: STAY AWAY 2 out of 10 stars
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Corpse Bride (2005)
5/10
Walks a fine line between well paced and dragging
2 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
If there is one word to describe this film it is "cute." Corpse Bride is a movie that tries to appeal to everyone perhaps due to its bizarre subject matter. In fact it goes out of its way not to offend anyone (particularly Christian conservatives) as you may notice no crosses in the church (which would offend all religions in some way), marriage in itself is not necessarily mocked and neither is the idea of death. It's not quite a kids film nor an adult film so I was wondering who would this appeal to? The fact that such major talent is attached is probably the main reason this film has done well so far.

Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad film but the musical numbers seem a bit forced and were extremely tough to hear (it could have been my theater but the most important story of how the girl died was unclear as a result), not to mention nothing was particularly memorable in terms of lyrics. Also a lot of the scenes came close to dragging or stretching out as much as possible, despite an extremely short runtime for a feature.

But aside from all of this there were 2 major things I disliked: the very abrupt ending in which the corpse bride "completes her purpose" (a very Catholic notion of limbo thus my above comments for Christian conservatives) and the two living lovers watch as she dissipates up to heaven and then THAT'S IT?! I think this film needed just one more scene of resolution - mainly to show their parents' reactions since they never return to the picture and figure in pretty heavily throughout otherwise. (Unless this is one of those films that has a "secret scene" to reward those for watching the credits). Also my other issue was why did the Lord who married Victoria wanted to kill her? After all she had explained her family was penniless and it's not like he could gain anything from her death. Was he just a crazy murderer of brides? (In that case I wasn't quite clear if he was the one who killed the corpse bride as well, hence see my comments on lack of clarity in song).

Well it's not a bad film, I wouldn't pay to see it in theaters again but wouldn't not recommend it either. If I had kids I'd think they have to be at least 8 or 9 to see it since some of the subjects are dark and could be scary. I guess I had higher hopes after seeing Nightmare before Christmas. Not a bad Burton/Elfman/Depp picture but not the best either.

5/10 Meh.
2 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Clever
30 July 2005
This is a skillful combination of a documentary, art/educational film and mockumentary. I particularly liked the tongue in cheek style humor and irony throughout the film with the narration and electronic new wave style music you'd see at most artsy pretentious documentary shorts.

It was also interesting to see that there was something with substance to it - as if there could be a subconscious art movement by the government. Yet the film does not take itself too seriously.

In particular a few funny moments occur when the head graffiti removal person speaks and then his words are re-cut to "find" his "true" & "subconscious" meaning. Another great part is when the workers are not even bothering to try and match the paint with the wall.

The only major thing which bothered me was the woman on the bike. If this was a jab at artsy films it was lost on me perhaps because it came across too subtly. Anyway it drags on an otherwise clever film and I think it may explain why a previous poster felt that it was "randomly" slapped together.

Overall a really funny mini documentary with an interesting narrative perspective and stinging sense of irony. Very refreshing.

8/10
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Boring
30 July 2005
Yes the story is sad that the transporter's life is essentially empty and meaningless. But you know what? Most people's lives are. Nothing particularly interesting is done with the footage, shots, or voice over speech. It was interesting to see the mountains and villages of Peru and lifestyles of people across the world, but I would watch a PBS documentary for that.

I guess what bothered me was that the narrator says he's not complaining about his lot in life, etc. but then the REST of the film he basically does that and says how boring it all is, the facetiousness of people, etc. The one revelation at the end which I thought was interesting however was that he thought the rich have it easier - I think had the film gone down this perspective of the grass being greener on the other side it would have been so much richer.

Part of the problem is also that I saw this with a bunch of "experimental" films in LA and I kept thinking what is experimental about this? It felt like they stuck this in the wrong slot and it should have been in the documentary night, so the fact the visually and mentally engaging films had preceded it doesn't help it much either.

20 minutes is a long time to hear a guy complain...

3/10
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Different
30 July 2005
I'll give it that. Previously I'd only seen "Rejected" which nearly everyone has seen and likes. So when this came to town I was expecting something along those lines. The beginning is particularly intense with the hundreds of people walking and talking over each other alongside the Tchaichovsky music (and took 2 years to do!!). Also the creatures evolving into one another were very creative.

But I've heard and seen this all before - life is essentially meaningless hence the absurdity and pointlessness of the film. And of course there are people who do not believe this but it completely ignores that point of view.

Fortunately the film is short and has a great score and visual element but it does feel like it drags after the aliens explain the meaning of life (which of course we can't understand) since it pulls out into the galaxy and then nothing else happens for the last few minutes.

A lot of people at the screening seemed annoyed and frustrated as they watched this. Maybe they expected to find the meaning (they are idiots if that's the case) but I think they were like OK we get it.

If I were to recommend a Hertzfeld film for a person who hadn't seen his work I wouldn't use this one as a starter. If I were to recommend a Meaning of Life film I would definitely use Monty Python's 2 hour long version which is hilarious and is more about the life cycle and has a rather clever ending.

Not a bad film but you might find yourself checking your watch once or twice towards the end.

7/10
4 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Ryan (2004)
9/10
Interesting & Unique Vision
30 July 2005
I have mixed feelings about this film - nearly all of me likes this movie, but there was an aspect of it which bored me too. Also I don't know if I totally understood all that the filmmaker wanted me to understand.

As everyone has stated the animation is amazing and clever too. (Both the hand drawn and 3d). It's also an interesting approach for an animated documentary which I've not seen before. The character of Ryan was interesting as well as his wife and producer/friend and the ending is inspiring yet also sad and parallels his movement in past drawings. Yet I thought some stuff was just bizarre - I understood the fragmented personality aspect but is everyone fragmented? Was there significance to the colors used? Also some shots (i.e. diving into the director's mind which has a yellow smiley face) were bizarre. Nevertheless the film doesn't take itself too seriously and it is clever and worth a watch. I'd recommend it.

9/10
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Fast Film (2003)
10/10
Very cool
30 July 2005
Fast film makes you realize how basically every film has the same plot just done differently (hero, bad guys, girl who gets captured, escape, chase, fight, etc.) and recreates it perfectly using clips of film entirely photocopied frame by frame and put on paper. That alone (the paper part) is amazing in itself.

But I found myself just marveling the entire time as I watched this short and despite there being no one main character with which to identify, I was rooting for the hero nevertheless. It was also interesting and humorous in the way that the filmmakers made the characters seem aware that they were in a film based on certain reaction shots from other films - so it was self reflexive in this way. As I watched I couldn't help think "My God, these people have an encyclopedic knowledge of every old film ever made" since the story scripted for the paper movement cleverly parallels what's going on in the film clip(s).

You have to watch this. This isn't your typical artsy short film. It is a feast for the eyes and the mind.

10/10 amazing
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Kitchen Sink (1989)
9/10
Very dark & compelling
20 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Kitchen sink, in spite of its name, actually doesn't have a lot in the film as far as props, set, or characters (I'm referring to the saying throwing in everything but the kitchen sink). Nevertheless, it is a creepy, atmospheric film which kept me on the edge of my seat. How many horror films today can you genuinely say have done that effectively? The premise is strange but original. The black and white shooting style which normally seems amateur works perfect in this atmosphere. It feels so cramped and tight that you feel claustrophobic too. When the fetus is taken out you're disgusted and curious. You also feel the man's pain when it grows in the water and she shaves it down.

It does become a little weird and so maybe I missed some of the larger message as far as when she kisses him despite his seeming deadness. But I love the way this film ends on the note it starts with although I am not positive what exactly the ending image means or will even produce (another fetus?). Definitely disturbing and yet no violence. Worth a watch if you're in the mood for some weirdness and to be freaked out.

9/10
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Arty & Pretentious
20 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The longest & the worst of the films screened at the Hammer Museum June 15, 2005 was a movie that sounds like a student art film called "Architecture of Reassurance". Let's make it a little more obvious shall we? This film goes on and on. People clapped when it was over only for that reason, as I heard a lot of mockery throughout the picture and negative comments all around me. This is a boring boring film. Did we really need to have the super slow-mo shot of her running at the end? Was there any major artistic purpose to using documentary cutting in the film? Was there any major drive to the character? She wasn't likable (sort of a brat actually) and the entire feeling was like a bad LSD trip.

The ending particularly bothered me since it spelled out everything for the girl (and us) when they say maybe she's not for this world, you'll never fit in, etc. Really? You think that's sort of obvious by the fact she's a floater and has no friends or any goal in this bloated long film.

Yes the shots were nice and it had a moment of humor (he cuts our lawn line about the fake neighbor) but I've seen a lot of student films which amount to basically the same thing and some that do it better. Nothing is engaging here or makes you want to watch. I would definitely warn people to do something better with their time than watch another in a long line of crappy art films with nothing new to say.

2/10
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Awesome
20 July 2005
Wow, after seeing a long bloated artsy film nearly 25 Mons long comes Spike Jonze's amazing film.

Granted he had a budget to do the big surprise at the end (and it is) but man, you are engaged throughout. You will find it extremely cute at the beginning then the film totally smashes your expectations quite literally. Yes this film doesn't have any deep message and that's fine. Nevertheless, it does engage and keep you caring about characters, wonder what will happen next, and so forth.

It's cute, funny, violent, sick, interesting, sad, etc. need I say more? And it tells a great story in just 3 minutes - how many directors or films can do that? I'd love to see this again if I could find it somewhere. No wonder Spike Jonze is quickly becoming one of the best directors we have today.

10/10
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Tater Tomater (1990)
4/10
Should have been shorter
20 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Tater Tomater is weird and it doesn't try to hide that fact. That's fine. But you may find yourself checking your watch many times wondering what the point is and when it will finally end because it feels much longer than it should be.

This would have worked well as a 5 minute movie in my opinion since we get the point and all the stuff at the beginning about the semi-moronic girl getting ready, leaving, getting into work, etc. was totally needless. It doesn't define her character any more than what we see in the restaurant.

If I were to edit it, I would have started from the point when she entered and the hostess says "you're late". Another thing, I don't think we needed all the reaction shots of the girl to show that she isn't all there and somewhat of a moron, it's quite clear. I thought the repetition part was an interesting idea and a lot of fun once she rhymes everything as she snaps, but then once the end arrives you're like "That's it?!!?"

Did she lose her job (I would think so)? Did she go crazy? What happened to the restaurant? Did she ever get home? I know it's a short but for a movie as long as it was it should have cut the stuff at the beginning and closed it better at the end.

I saw it at the Hammer museum near UCLA, so at least it was free. I also found the sound hard to hear. Don't know if it was the room's acoustics or the quality of the film.

4/10
1 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Tama tu (2005)
8/10
Fun little film
20 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is more comical than anything. That's not to say it's a laugh riot - we are constantly reminded this is war and that people die. Thus there is a tension in the air (among other smelly things) throughout the comic proceedings. I like how it didn't say that there are good guys or bad guys just soldiers doing their jobs and trying to lighten up despite the pressures. It really shows a lot about camaraderie. I also thought the black crow that appears (maybe a raven I couldn't tell) was cool since the tone shifts entirely on one symbol and the end makes you wish it hadn't ended. Funky little short I wouldn't mind watching again 8/10
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Hitch (I) (2005)
7/10
Reminded me of a Shakespearean Comedy
15 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Now I know some people are going to read this summary title and say, "How dare you dishonor Shakespeare by comparing his works to this movie?!" But let's not forget he wrote for his fellow man in his time.

Besides, I'm talking more about the structure than anything else: everyone pretty much has money and it's not an issue, the biggest problems in these people's lives are finding love, there's a lot of assuming, miscommunication and misunderstanding, there are long passages of dialog much like the Bard's plays (i.e. when the 2 are on the couch and talking about feelings/history), there's the cocky main hero, an eager but awkward assistant/friend, a shrewish smart woman who is hard to get, a dumb friend, the woman all people want but only the pure of heart can get, not to mention one bad guy who is more of a jerk than a villain, but despite confusion, everyone ends up happy in the end and getting married (which we know in real life that marriage usually doesn't equal happiness but in love comedies it does), there's even a big dance party at the end. Phew! - sounds like Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, Love's Labour's Lost, etc. to me.

I guess my point in saying all this is that the movie hits universal chords since both sexes have struggles with love and while this is clearly from a man's point of view, it is humorous and has some touching moments too.

Will Smith works really well here as always with his charm. Even his "Smith-isms" (aka really stupid "cool" lines he always has in every movie) only are limited and are toned down such as when he twists the jerk's arm. Kevin James is really likable and hilarious as an awkward man, and has a big career ahead of him. The only person who was awful was Eva Mendes - she just cannot act. All my friends pretty much agreed that she's there to be looked at for her beauty instead of talent (not that I'm complaining).

I liked the fact nothing was made of interracial marriage - which wasn't planned but due to scheduling/budget conflicts with a known black actress they went with Eva and it worked to the film's advantage. A great date movie most men and women will enjoy.

7/10 Not a classic but good for a date
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Frankenweenie (1984)
8/10
Enjoyable homage
15 July 2005
Saw this on the Nightmare Before Christmas DVD and thought it was pretty good. Apparently Disney thought it was too dark but with the exception of one shot of the dead dog it was actually pretty cute.

Some of the performances were over the top (neighbors) but I am pretty sure that was supposed to happen - I mean come on we're talking about resurrecting a dog people. The ending is a little sappy but that's because it's a family film I suppose. I really did enjoy seeing Frankenstein replayed in the tale of a dog as well as references to Bride of Frankenstein etc. What is particularly weird is seeing Daniel Stern & Shelly Duval play parent roles, as well as the kid who played the older brother on The Wonder Years. For the most part the pacing is good since I almost never checked my watch.

Good camera work for a young Tim Burton and overall decent movie which shows the latent talent of Mr. Burton before he got really famous.

8/10
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Vincent (1982)
9/10
Great short!
15 July 2005
This is a wonderful short film made all that much better since it's narrated by Vincent Price. The animation & humor is awesome and seen in styles of Nightmare before Christmas & Corpse Bride.

Some might consider it dark for kids but I don't think it's that bad since all kids entertain dark thoughts - at least I did. Besides it's his imagination. Also interesting to see homages of all Vincent Price's movies in a few short minutes. The animation as he descends into madness at the end is excellent. Considering Vincent Price did the narration you have to think Tim Burton has been extremely lucky for a director getting some big breaks.

The only thing that takes off a point is that a few of the rhymes felt forced but that's the only slightly negative thing I can say and it's definitely a lot of twisted fun! 9/10
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Some great stuff but...
10 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Couldn't really believe it. Maybe it's because I know at the end she'll be another preteen mom but it's nice to pretend otherwise.

Don't get me wrong, there are some seriously good performances at the end in which Victor is incredibly awkward with Amanda as he prepares to kiss her even though he's been with "a lot of girls" but finds himself caught in his own machismo lies. There are some great lines though, in particular "Probably out of every 10 guys you know like 2 percent aren't dogs" - that must have been improvisation like a lot of this movie since it seemed so natural which is why a lot of this film works.

Actually I thought Amanda was the strongest and most engaging character who knows what she wants and gets it (she makes Victor watch as she pees, she kisses Victor, she decides she doesn't want a boyfriend and calls Victor on his lies). Oh and the music is pretty good too - I loved when Victor & the black drum player were having a little competition on the street.

I can relate to this as a Hispanic myself who has worked with a lot of inner city children. I know that there are kids like this, especially the ones who hit each other with things to get attention then are suddenly your best friend. Ditto with girls dressing slutty at the ripe age of 10 and boyfriends already having sex with many girls. Among other things. That's why despite the great acting and feel of the movie, its cute ending made me think well now they're going to have sex and she'll be another unwed mother when she had so much potential. On that note I do want to see Raising Victor Vargas.

Pretty engaging short film and worth a watch.

7/10
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Engaging mini doc
10 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Generally I am not a fan of documentaries because they go on forever and are dull since they don't really tell a story. Family Portrait on the other hand works by telling a moving story about real people in a short amount of time.

There are a lot of great things about this film: Beautiful lighting/cinematography (in part due to the wonderful stock LIFE photos), great interviews, drama, etc. In particular I loved the fact that the remaining family returns to an art gallery featuring photos from LIFE about them from years ago and they explain it to their children - very touching moment and poignant to see new generation learning about old, reflection, emotion, etc.

What bothered me was the overused and sappy piano music which trivialized the otherwise powerful images and narration which could stand on their own. Same with the final message talking about poverty amongst black children - this would have been a better message to put in the beginning and then focus on one family or put bits of it throughout the picture. It seems out of place and not really related to the rest of the picture since it focused on one family not society at large, which makes you wonder if the filmmaker's message really came through.

Don't get me wrong, this is a better documentary than most and I was not bored at any time during it so I'd recommend it.

7/10
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Hilarious & entertaining because we've all been there
10 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
POSSIBLE MINOR SPOILERS Man About Town is an amusing little short film which works mainly because of its style: the humorous narration, the fresh jazz undertones and black and white style all set the mood for a film noir type movie which is anything but.

I found myself laughing especially towards the end as the man about town gets progressively drunk and stupid and makes a fool of himself. My only wish is that we knew what he really was saying to others to upset them instead of only hearing what he thought he said - not that it wasn't amusing.

But what's great about this is not only is it funny and universal in that we can all relate to it (guys anyway) but it is poignant in the end in that it has a message about the downside of drinking so it actually has some substance. I would watch this again and this is a very well made film.

8/10 great job!
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Wasp (2003)
5/10
Bittersweet
10 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS OK I saw this for free at a downtown LA showing, thought it was pretty good but not amazing as everyone else makes it out. First off I hated the shaky camera work and there is no reason to like the main character - at most you pity her but more likely you'll pity the kids because their mom is so negligent and mean.

The first half of the movie doesn't really go anywhere or have much point other than to "shock" the audience and grab their attention. Once it enters the bar it picks up, but once the conclusion comes you're glad it's over. Yes there are good performances and it's unsettling but not really about anything. And the imagery is as subtle as a brick in a pillow hitting you in the face.

Oh and one more thing which bothered me since this movie wanted a realistic and depressing tone: the wasp (which is clearly paralleled with the mother at various points since wasp = White Aanglo-Saxon Protestant and both are caged, dangerous, etc) which is attracted to the honey on the baby's face (by the way the CGI in this part is awful) doesn't kill the baby since it doesn't sting its mouth, HOWEVER, the fact that the baby ate honey means it WOULD die since babies can't digest honey/antioxidants albeit not immediately. Since the movie was trying to be realistic and a sad statement on single mothers, etc. you'd think someone would have thought of this, but instead it makes a happy ending as if apologizing for all the horrors the mom puts her kids through.

Decent overall but nothing to write home about. 5/10
4 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Mean Girls (2004)
7/10
Smart Teen Movie
26 November 2004
While Mean Girls does follow its conventions in the teen genre, it is a smart film with a mix of intelligent and crude humor alike so that everyone can enjoy. This is nowhere as intelligent as Saved! - a far superior teen film and social commentary - but what makes it great are its characters (Tim Meadows' & Tina Fey's are the best) and their interpersonal relationships.

Some have called this film the Heathers of our next generation...that is premature and bad for Heathers. I saw Heathers long ago but I remember it was extremely dark and intelligent whereas this is a mix of pop teen meets cool suburbanite humor, which isn't bad but the worst that happens in this film is someone getting hit by a bus.

I wasn't a huge fan of the voice over which made it seem somewhat like an after school special at times, but the actresses were gorgeous and talented, and even the clichéd characters - whom we hardly see other than snippets of their conversations - had some fresh life brought to them by their quirks.

The film reminds me of what the Disney channel wishes it could pull off every time it makes a lame attempt at "understanding" the pre/teen "cool" culture. It was fun to watch and wasn't too much of a chick flick since everyone can relate, however cool they pretend to be.

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10. Worth a watch or two.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A little long but very good
26 November 2004
This film will make you feel depressed after watching it - it is just the mood of the film, not the film itself or its message.

The acting was great except for Cameron Diaz (why she was picked to play an Irish pickpocket does not make sense and she cannot fake her accent well - nor Leonardo DiCaprio for that matter), and Daniel Day Lewis definitely was perfect for this role.

The cinematography, editing, sound were all great and conveyed the mood well. The costumes were pretty good but makeup was lacking - everyone still seemed very clean despite the filthy living conditions of the day, although apparently this was the fault of producers and test audiences who felt DiCaprio seemed unattractive so historical accuracy lost there.

On that note, this film does not shy away from violence and corruption which founded America, which is particularly brave considering the times we live in and our fear of admitting we ever did wrong. Some of the fight scenes - in particular the introductory fight - were a little long and overdone but overall they were well done.

This is not Scorsese's best film but it is a good film - as Ebert stated in his review, it would have been a triumph for someone else but compared to his past work it is fairly average (which still means very very good) compared to his other films.

I can't really find anything wrong with this film but it does run long so expect that. Definitely worth a watch for some great performances but not a classic as it is a downer.

OVERALL SCORE: 8 out of 10. Great film so long as you're in the mood.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Average Heist Movie
26 November 2004
I haven't seen the original film and therefore cannot compare, however, whatever was unique about that one seems to be missing, except for maybe the ending.

The acting is flat and uninspired - you've got Wahlberg and Theron as your stars? Yikes. (Apparently Norton made it clear this was a contract and you can tell he hates being here, which maybe helped his performance as a villain). The characters are all clichés from other heist films: explosives guy (also token black guy), computer nerd/comic relief, "crazy" foreign dude/driver, hot girl and way too cool hero. There is not really any character development as this is plot driven and action heavy, not that this is necessarily bad.

The technicals (sound, lighting, cinematography) are all great but the real winner here is the editing pumped up by a steady soundtrack. Without giving much away the best part is the ending. This film is not really memorable but it is entertaining Hollywood action and I can't say I disliked it, but it's nothing spectacular.

As the title implies, this is just another job for everyone involved (which explains the average acting).

OVERALL: 6/10. Fun to rent and watch once.
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Decent
26 November 2004
I have not seen the original Stepford Wives which apparently leans towards horror, unlike the remake which aims for comedy.

The "secret" is fairly obvious - the women are robots controlled by their husbands in a satire which fears powerful women...there's no way you won't get this about 15 minutes into the story.

The performances were good but Bette Midler steals the show. I like the way that the film mentioned that there are no minorities amongst the town people and the only gay couple is "straightened out" if you will. There are some quick one liners about it being in Connecticut and boring but, scarily, this really does reflect the right wing mentality of what married couples are supposed to be. Some of the shot selections were a bit odd or uninteresting and uninspired but it's a commercial film. Anyway, it was fun and I found myself laughing.

OVERALL: 6/10. Worth a watch.
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Wag the Dog (1997)
9/10
The Best Political Satire Since Dr. Strangelove
25 November 2004
Rarely can film satire make you laugh and be worried about the future at the same time. Levinson's film does just that, with a great cast and great writing, this film succeeds.

You may have noticed that many of the posts and reviews argue that this is not plausible. Obviously these posters do not realize that satire is supposed to be over the top and show what can happen in extremes, and ironically, this came out just after Clinton's sex scandal, and is still relevant today with George W. and will continue to be regardless of the president. Also, some may think it oversimplifies the public as idiots, but this isn't true, especially if they are being deceived and information is withheld. There are some implausibilities, as in why no reporters went to Albania or how other countries didn't get involved other than denying the charges, but these are small and even addressed in scenes with the rival candidates, news reporters and even CIA head William H. Macy.

Really I don't know how anyone can not like this film since it is smart, funny and scary all at once with fine performances and direction all around. This is an American political satire classic that is sadly becoming less satire as time goes on.

OVERALL: 9/10. Buy or at least rent before the satire becomes reality.
124 out of 134 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

Recently Viewed