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Waking Life (2001)
Waking Life is a stirring film, made in an attempt to better allow fellow humans to understand their reality and what they perceive by being exposed to as many varying degrees of philosophy as possible. Though centered around a young man who is unable to wake from what he perceives to be his dream state, the real meaning and true essence of the film is exhibited by the distinctly, and at times opposing, varying philosophies attempting to explain why we perceive things the way that we do. Sometimes they use science, while others use religion; as the young man continues his journey through his own mind. Leaning a great deal towards the stranger side of philosophy, this film isn't for everyone, I highly enjoyed the animation that appeared in the film because I felt like it added a great deal to the ambience and helped better explain the feel of the young man's endless waking; however some people found it to be a big distraction. If you are some how put off at all by the idea that they filmed this movie and then had people animate it, then I would recommend that you don't even try to sit through this because the camera work and constantly shifting art styles will not amuse you. Anyone into experimental art should really enjoy his film, the art work is at times exquisite and at others' poignantly shaky and sloppy. The artwork is perfectly suited for the film and I think that they did a really excellent job casting the roles for this movie, because you can make out a couple of people but they don't really look like themselves so you never get that feeling of watching a movie with actors in it, making the message that much more guided and inevitable.
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000)
An Awesome Sequel to A Great Classic.
I find in very few cases that I liked the sequel more than the original and this is another one of those cases where I think the second piece is a more finished polished product, better story, better character and voice direction - and I still like the original more. Vampire Hunter D began his life as an early 80's sketch by Yoshito something or other (Sandman Endless Nights and Final Fantasy IIX & IX), and then became a film of the same title. Then in the early nineties when Anime began to flourish as it had in the eighties talk began of resurrecting the sleeping immortal and the flame was passed to a quite capable team. "Bloodlust" is D's quest to return a seemingly abducted woman to her rich family. Complications begin to arise when the family also hire the Borghoff and his crew, a collection of vampire hunters with different and amazing abilities quite reminiscent of the mutants in the original. As D quests to find the woman he begins to uncover a trail that may lead him directly into not only Barboroi, but even to the castle of Carmila - wife of Dracula himself. His path wrought with danger and demons of all sorts D must battle his way to saving the young woman, and he never fails at his job.... he can not fail or rest until he dies. Drawn beautiful and well dubbed I see very little to complain about here. There is a little bit of mystery left to D's character, but not nearly as much as with the original title. You learn a great deal more about D's life and his parents, not too mention he shows emotion once or twice in this one which is nice too see, no one's perfect except in paintings. A little to computer assisted for my taste at some points, I love the art style that is used. It remains very true to the original feel. Likewise they DON'T trample on the character that was originally set up rather they work with and expand it. 9 out of 10. I like it more than the original, no wait no I don't- yes I don't(insert head explody noise along with brain shrapnel here)*
Pâfekuto burû (1997)
A Stunning Psychological-Thriller...
Perfect Blue paints the portrait of Mima-den, a retired pop-idol that wants to become an actress - or rather her agent wants her to become one... That's where the trouble begins at least. Mima is asked to do a series of rather unsavory parts in a recurring Japanese television show called Double Binned; some of her fans are less than pleased. The mysterious Mr. Me-Mania stalks Mima through out her shooting, and even in the ex-pop-idols' dreams. As her dreams become more and more vivid, more and more graphic, they begin shaking her own sense of being as her inner conscious speaks too her through its' only means, Dreams. The dreams are worsened and Mima's troubles compounded when she discovers a web-site entitles "Mima's Room" which is supposedly written by her - and contains information that only she and a few people very close to her know. As her dreams worsen she is literally confronted with a manifestation of her wish to remain a pop-idol, trying to murder her. To reveal anymore would be a spoiler but what follows is an critical analysis of the film. Perfect Blue is lacking of the recent fashion of computer generated art, most of the artwork including backgrounds where still completed using the good old fashioned drawing method. The artwork is comparable to that of Ghost In The Shell, though this is less cybernetic of course, the Mima Pop-Idol Ghost is really interesting. The use of drawing appearance affecting the dream reality making utilization of the animations limitations, I was quite impressed. The dub is somewhat lacking as the voices seem to lack luster some time, but the main characters are well done and fairly easy to listen too. The Japanese language version is wonderful to listen to though, they all just pegged their parts; if you can read and take in all of the beautiful artwork at the same time... it might take two or three watches to understand anyways, so give it a try. The ending is a little bit confusing, very David Lynch, and leaves a few cords hanging but the story is engaging and the artwork is simply stunning to look at. 8 out of 10 stars.
Rôdosu-tô senki (1990)
A sprawling fantasy epic...
Though the sword play isn't on par with Ninja Scroll, and the monsters can look a little bit more than goofy sometimes Record of Lodoss War is thoroughly entertaining as an epic. On the same level as The Odyssey, for the Japanese, Record of Lodoss War provides everything that you could really want from a Manga classic. They've got dragons, dwarves, goblins, kobalts, and berserkers too!(OH MY!) The art in this fantasy classic is gorgeous, it is most definitely a manga, and the eyes can become a little bit distracting to anyone who is into anime rather than the Manga look. This definitely has a kind of Akira feel to the artwork; slipping between playfully sketched lines and defined, dark inked artwork. The characters are somewhat two-dimensional, fitting into stereotypes all to common to older anime's and manga, yet are somehow very engaging. Parn the young hero around whom the entire epic is set is equipped with the biggest shiniest eyes in the whole series so inevitably he will ride into save the day at the end....
Record of Lodoss War scrolls the tale of our young hero, Parn, and his partner a priest of Valis. They are quickly joined by Ghim and Slain; Ghim being the tough as nails dwarf who despises elves, and Slain the quiet and contemplative sorcerer. Deedlit, a high elf - a princess actually - also joins Parn on his quest, after a group of Goblins slaughter Parn's hometown. The adventurers set out to discover what is making all of the creatures in Lodoss so aggressive and uneasy. They are quickly embroiled in a gigantic web of events quite comparable to LOTR in more ways than one, and find themselves imbued the task of saving Lodoss!
Any one who even like kid cartoons should see this, if you can stand any type of anime or manga give this a look the next time your out looking for an oldy-but-a-goody. The violence isn't graphic at all, there is only one scene of any type of nudity (A single nipple in the final episode for one frame) and it is long enough to grasp your attention... or is it? If you shy away from longer anime's or movies for that matter because there isn't enough action to sustain you, look elsewhere. This is a very character driven story and thusly a lot of conversation and slow moving, sometimes seemingly jumpy, plot progress. Overall an awesome set and becoming quite affordable too collectors, LONG LIVE LODOSS!!!!!
Kyûketsuki hantâ D (1985)
Vampire Hunter D is a classic beyond even Akira.
Vampire Hunter D, a man torn by his own nature, at war with himself must defeat the evil vampires that plague the desolate earth which he roams. D is a dumpheil (a Whampyr- half-vampire spawned by the womb of a living women pregnant and bitten by a vampire.) so he feels that he must undo the evil that his ancestors have wrought on the earth. though their numbers dwindle, vampires still rule the night and humanity must live in fear of these monstrous creatures. Hired by Dorris, a young woman 'kissed' by Count Magnus Lee; Lee being one of the oldest and most powerful of the remaining vampires. When the town finds out that she is bitten Dorris and her brother find themselves the target of mistrust and simple minded hatred, much like D himself. Involving a few rather confusing trips to the Counts' castle D really ticks him off so Lee sends his mutants and daughter to deal with him. As the climax draws nearer you are given a closer look at the honor bound life which D forces himself to live by, however you learn precious little more about his actual history or personality - if he has one. Drawn in a stunning anime style based on some extraordinarily beautiful original concept artwork by the same guy who did final fantasy 8 and 9, plus he did Sandman's ENDLESS NIGHTS. The characters are a little but hard to deal with, any fan of DBZ should find themselves quite at home with Dorris' little brother, but the artwork is original and creative enough to keep you very visually entertained. The dialogue, or what little there is too speak of is terrible just like the toss away paper tissue characters, but this like many other 80's animes' holds a special place in my heart. It's graphic violence and stupid use of gratuitous nudity (only in 1 spot but still it was really useless)and usual objectification of woman as eye candy it opened the door for a lot of stuff that we see today and is a god quality anime. Usually when you say Anime or Manga to someone they think of either Akira or Vampire Hunter D; however until two years ago when the subsequent sequel, "Bloodlust", came out few people answered 'D'. Released a few years before Akira, Hunter D missed out on the explosion of Anime films in America during the later nineteen-eighties and early-nineties. It sat on video shelves for two or three years in the states before its' popularity exploded, and for a time it flourished. All good things end however and so did it's popularity escaping quickly into the realm of obscurity. Recently it was re-mastered (questionably) by the original releasers in preparation for "Bloodlust" and is now widely available on both VHS and DVD.
Almost perfectly blue with a hint of a ghost in the akira...
This film combines some of the best aspects about Anime and collects them all into a neat little one hour and forty-five minute joy-ride through yet another Neo-Asian city riddled with civil rebellion stemming from a corrupt political government and armed forces units (I wonder where they dreamed up this topic?). Though not an altogether new setting, the art is gripping enough (with awesome graphics used on the wide shots of the city and the backgrounds in individual shots) to keep you well entertained through the packages of rather vague introspective monologues take place. These monologues, which later become a dialogue of sorts, are what drive the story thematically; giving the story a sense of urgency that is well accented by the heavy overtones of violence that saturates the film. However in this notion they break one major rule in American movie making and writing, introspective dialogue (or a spoken monologue in a film) should never directly reveal information about the story, rather it should further the tone of the film. In Jin-Roh by the end of the film, even the way that the words are used in these monologues and the way you interpret them, can alter the entire premise and feel of the film. The gritty raw action happens in these grotesque spurts, no pun intended, and gives the film a very life-like feel. Likewise the animation style and fluidity are far superior to most other anime's of its time. They had begun to effectively toy with setting drawings in the foreground out of focus with a very realistic feel, and thus transcendently gave the film a much more realistic and serious ambiance. However at times the story line can be rather hard to follow; though I would say not much harder than some of the American crime drama's that I have seen. There is such a focus on a great deal of different sections within the armed forces and police personnel in Jin-Roh that at times it is very difficult to discern just who the good guys are. Though I think that to some extent this was an internal intention of the story-line and on the other hand I think that some of the inner political and army battling was either sloppily mistranslated or too complicated to fully cover in one hour and forty five minutes. The subtitles to the film where a little bit more clear in their translation from the original screenplay and make it a little easier to follow, however the American dubbing is quite stand able. Usually I detest dubs, but this one was pretty good - even the background voices were well done, though they sounded naturally American and not naturally Japanese so realistic in an untruthful way I suppose. As far as anime's go, this one is top rate. It is not only comparable, but features animators and writers from Akira and Ghost In The Shell. Though I didn't care for Ghost In The Shell very much (to much obvious computer animation)anyone who doesn't worship the 1988 anime classic Akira shouldn't call themselves an anime fan.
Gray's Anatomy (1996)
Diary of a compulsive homeopathic ex-christian scientist.
Possibly the most easily accesable of the Spalding Gray monologue-film library Gray's Anatomy chronicles Gray's retinal pucker problems. The interesting camera work and rather unique (in regards to the rest of the Gray Monologue Films) keeping a good feeling of progression. This progression can be found somewhat lacking by new-comers to the monologue scene, and thus this film solves a good deal of viewing problems in this simple aspect. The second aspect that makes this film highly accesible by new-comers in the stories told by the average Joe's. There are some good stories, some bad stories, and some disturbing stories; but none of the clips are allowed to stagnate by Soderburgh. This is probably the most powerful of the two aspects especially when teamed with the cuts from The Killing Fields give Gray's Anatomy a much more action oriented feeling than Monster in A Box or Spalding Gray Is Swimming To Cambodia. Gray's Anatomy is a good introduction to Spalding Gray but falls short of his earlier classics while remaining a film most definitely worthy of viewing. I would give it three and a half stars out of five where as Swimming and Monster I would give a four.
Another Comic Book Adaption?
As if the market weren't flooded enough with all of the recent comic book adaption movies by Marvel, some good - though mostly huge flops and failures- comes LGX. League of Extraordinary Gentleman proved to be one of the more well made films as Connery can hardly be a 'bad' actor, though he out classed everyone else in the film and the only time that his character, Quartermaine, really amused me was in the beginning when he was being a prick to all of these young hot shot 'extraordinary' people. Connery really seemed to be slamming on the more untalented of the actors, Nemo (Arrggghhh, my head hurts - no more accent, please!), Dorian Gray - who bored me to tears, which surprised me as I usually like Stuart Townsend but he came off like a cheap Johny Depp rip off because of the weird make-up that they had him in, and Willamina (Mina) Harker- the completely unjustified vampire that must be inserted into any good B-Action film, you know? The one that isn't evil at all, she's battling the evil inside her because she's a chemist, that must explain why she's not eating everyone on the ship! Hyde was perhaps the only character that retained any of the brilliance that Allen Moore instilled in these characters. The inwards battle between Jeckyll and Hyde was actually pretty neat to watch, as some of the more interesting mental bouts are quite well done. The special effects that they used for Jeckyll weren't that great but they beat the hell out of the Hulk special effects, I especially like how the skin stretched and bubbled in these transformations giving it a more realistic look. However aside from Quartermaine and Jeckyll there are very few amusing parts in the movie, if you're actually following it. So my recommendation would be to just sit back relax and take in the special effects, teamed with that ever so lovable accent of Connery's!
25th Hour (2002)
Spike Lee disapoints again!
I love Edward Norton and again and again I see him give performances that are nearly unparalleled in Hollywood today. Although 25th Hour is no different the movie and as whole, and a quite inconsistent one at that, is confusing and rather psychizophrenic. The side plots, all of which slightly revolve around Monty (Norton), are terribly confusing as to their points and are so dispearsed through out the film that they have no cohesion as a whole. Every twenty minutes or so a scene leaving Monty out of the picture, usually involving Jacob (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) or Frank (Barry Pepper, in perhaps his best role yet) just appears and begins to tell a story. Then two seconds after that the scene is over and your left with Monty sorting through all of his mental baggage, involving numerous flash backs that are easily mistake for some sort of hallucination - especially teamed with the fxck you scene in the bathroom. The catch line of the film proved very inappropriate, Monty does nothing to change his life, he just moans about how he screwed it all up when he had everything. It seems to me that Monty didn't regret how he lived, just getting caught. Though I appreciate the realism in that, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth because Lee struggled to make Monty such a fallen angel type of character and then just crapped out in the end. The B quality of the film is very disturbing for a number of reasons; including the fact that it is jam packed with wonderful acting. Everyone that plays supporting roles in this film did a brilliant job, with out fail all the actors did a delightful job with the acting. The post 9/11 mumbo jumbo may have seemed signifigant too some one from New York, and I don't mean this calously, but to bog down the film with almost five minutes of uncomfortable dialogue, and inserting an extra package of hatred towards 'towel-heads' as the film refers to Middle-Eastern peoples, was not only senseless but down right insulting. The massive doses or racism that appear through out the film seem to scour New York's underbelly, a good example is again the fxck you scene, but somehow the list including whites, Hispanics, asians, and Ukranian peoples neglects any blacks. Spike Lee has again proved to me that he is not worthy of the mantle he wears as a spokes person for African Americans in Hollywood. The novel suceeds where this film fails, but if you are a big Norton fan then pick this one up because he's done it again!
Phone Booth (2002)
The setting should limit the movie...
In my opinion the setting of the film, at first glance seemed quite ignorant. I didn't see how anyone could succesfully base a film about a man trapped in a phone booth. However Schuemecker is able to make the phone booth seem infinitely larger than it really is. Also I liked the trivial back story about the history of the phone at the beginning. The true joy of this film though is its' simple eccentricities. The way that you truly dislike the main character of the film only five minutes into it. The fact that you can see how naive and self absorbed nearly everyone in the film truly is. The acting from Forest Whitaker was unuasually weak in this movie, and this proved to be quite an annoying missing link. Because of Kiefer Sutherland's brilliant voice-over, playing off of Collin Farrel so well Whitaker stuck out like a sore thumb. His place is in B films and he should just learn to stay there. Farrel however again proves to everyone that he is capable of acting to a degree. Though his character was pretty one dimensional and the emotional degree to which Farrel drove his character seemed unnecassary to me, he did serve the purpose of the role very well. He was a perfect patsy, a man we could all point the finger at and go "I've done that but I can't believe he's doing that...". A normal man driven over the edge in his own world. But when someone steps in to set things right the film really takes off and from that point on you are glued to the edge of your seat. I'd give this movie eight out of ten stars and here are the reasons why: It has been so long since a good movie has been under two hours I can hardly rememeber it. Kiefer Sutherland, Kiefer follows the footsteps of his father into some of the best actors that have ever graced the silver screen. And the originality of the film, GOD ITS GOOD TO SEE SOMETHING NEW! I don't remember when something this radically different from everything else hit the screens... everything from the settings to the actual plot line itself is wonderfully original. I suggest you rent it right now!
American History X (1998)
One of the most under-rated films I've ever seen...
In the late nineties there was a trendy movement towards so-called independent films. American History X, though riding the tail end of the fad, did attempt to cash in on the new found popularity, in the mainstream, of the Sundance Film Festival. In American History X Edward Norton cements his position as one of the most gifted actors of our time. His terrifyingly real portrayal of Derek, a neo-nazi driven over the edge by the neighbor-hood he grew up in turning into a 'haven for drug addicts and gangs'.
Norton is also backed by a wonderful supporting cast. Edward Furlong (Yes of Terminator 2 fame) delivers a delicious portrayal of a young man disillusioned and abandoned by his brother. The scenes between Derek and Danny (Furlong) are colorful and vibrant contrasting against the simple and crumbling city about the brothers. The mixture of admeration and hatred that people feel for their idols, especially one that has been torn from their pedastol of reverence, is utilized so well in this film that it does make the film feel almost like a showcase for the wonderful acting rather than the rather amateur plot. However that plot is genius in the way that it delivers its' message; so simple sleek and easy to understand, or is it? The psychological aspects presented in this film, attempting to explain why poeple become what they are using a neo-nazi as a general example, are all quite relevant and the film at times becomes a soap-box for the makers to showcase their feelings on the social inequalities in The United States of America. The scene discussing Rodney King, which I was frightened of from the start, is so over the edge and in your face that it almost becomes unbearable to watch sometimes. yet somehow you can't take you're eyes off of Eliot Gould or Norton. All of the actors in this film should receive praise for their roles; especially Fairuza Baulk who reprised her role as the black haired hellion heart throb, though there's a bit of a switch up when she plays the supportive girlfriend to Derek.
The last thing that I will rave about it the cinematography. I must admit before I begin that I enjoy black and white photo prints and films a great deal so I am a bit biased when one comes along but... The black and white cinematography used in the flashbacks doesn't affect the film in a negatize way that most heavily edited films do. Somehow it retains the feeling of reality, even the slow motion shots were well done. Norton looked nothing short of pure evil during his arrest. The black and white plays so well off of Edward Furlong's oral narration (quite reminesent of Fight Club, except Furlong rather than Norton drives the films narration). The dryly read script that serves as the narrator is masterfully edited, the scenes were planned out and edited with out a hitch. My one complaint with the film is Edward Norton's crying... I mean he can do almost anything else but he can not convince me he is crying. In Fight Club he pulled it off by being plunged in Bob's Bitch tits but here he has no cover and it does serve to detract from some of the more emotional scenes, he doesn't even sound like - let a lone look like he's crying! Okay I'm done I swear.
American History X is one of the premier films for fans of good acting in a time of 9 out of 10 crap outs. Norton, Furlong, Gould, Brooks(from Star Trek Voyager, who also out does himself again, though his role is to short for him to truly shine),D'Angelo, and Keach each deliver what could be the best performances of many of their careers. If you havn't seen this film you should UNLESS; You don't like graphic violence (If Fight Club freaked you out) steer clear, if graphic sex scenes disturb you or you are viewing with younger children - beware, and most of all if you like happy go lucky up beat hip-hop crap (or perhaphs you just like Norton) you shouldn't run out and rent this.
About Schmidt (2002)
Definitely A New Spin on Death of A Salesman
In this film, About Schmidt, Nicholson is forced to confront his limitations as an actor; and throroughly embraces the eccentricities that define him as a person. In some sequences, such as the Roof of the RV, Nicholson is proven inept in all regards while trying to capture real emotion. As Nicholson falls short of the acting that is required of him the plot also seems to jog at such a lacadasical manner towards the finale of the film that one often feels as if they are trapped in the RV w/Nicholson forced to travel uncomfortably across the vast wastelands and abysmal desolate plains that make up About Schmidt's general attitude. While the plot devices are sometimes rather weak, and side plots aside, the film is a rather depressing dry slice of horrible yuppie life. The plot is quite depressing the acting from Nicholson is a bit lacking but the film's acting is saved mostly by the strong supporting cast. Kathy Bates' never ceases to amaze me, she looks like a gritty horrible lesbian, while in the film she still manages to come off as a very sexually active and engaging person, proven and for once played while with Nicholson himself. Randall, Dermot Mulroney, is such a wonderfully idiotic character that the audience can't help but love him and seeing his bumbling attempts to comfort Schmidt are among some of the most comedic and dark parts of the film. Also of interest, and in defense of the writing in general, they did a wonderful job of amalgmating the parent's annoying and yet delightfully garrish personal habits. About schmidt is still so reminiscent of Death of A Salesman that you can't appreciate the genius of the film, the simple and indescribably uncomfortable moments that you must spend with Schmidt, the ugly face of Schmidt's reality, and most of all the realization that life doesn't always go as planned. Being the story of a retired and crushed man both stories bare a striking resemblance to one another and upon closer examination it appears that this is merely the case of a tale that must be told by every generation; their disallusionment. For the 60's perhaps it was Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the death of all morals every attached to the decade and the revelation of drugs being the morals. Though it's hard to attach any sort of actual generation to this film its' quite easy to see that it is certainly designed to address this issue, for what generation we may never know, but let this film stand as a testament that not all Blockbuster Hollywood films are crap. "I Loved It!"
Dellamorte Dellamore (1994)
Visually and mentally enthralling!
Every once in a while a movie comes along that transcends the genre in which it was made. Though these films are rare they are a wonderful jewel to wander across. Dellamorte Dellamore, AKA Cemetery Man, is perhaps one of the most enthralling horror films that I have ever seen. It is rare to find a film that presents violence, horror, and generally unsettling character quirks in such a frank way that doesn't come off as a cliche'. The characters are very three dimensional, they are far from the static unchanging characters portrayed in every horror film too date. The women in the film however are pretty typical, for an anime certainly and quite stereotypically Italian, women. Revolving around Francesco Dellemorte, the 'Engineer' or care taker as he prefers, of The Bufallore cemetery. Francesco leads a fairly normal life, excluding the fact that the dead inhabitants of Bufallore cemetary come back from the dead after a few days six feet deep. Though the superficial storyline, revolving around death in the town and Francesco dealing with the results, is more reminiscent of The Great Gatsby than any other horror story I've ever read. The film is wonderful in its' simple perfections; the way that although the events of the story are presented in seeming sincerity and entirety, however the film seems to be more of a testament to alternate or unreliable narration. 3rd person narration allows the film to take an impartial stance during all of the events, which makes all the violence and gore seem very surreal and removed. The entire feel of the film can also turn on a dime, going from a simple horror film to an intricate tapestry consisting of an plot woven from intellectual strands that come together in a very planned and concise way with out making the audience felt led. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the film is its' introspective nature. Because the plot is so vague in some parts, which in intentional and not a fault in the film as many believe, we as the audience have to draw our own conclusions about the characters and the events surrounding them. Though there are suggestions the film never actually takes any sort of stance on life or death for that matter. The surreal setting and strange events- perhaps even delusions- go unexplained, but the film feels complete at the conclusion unlike many films that leave stray ends. However this film is an independently made Italian film so American audiences have had mixed reactions to the scenematography and story-line. I had a two and a half hour conversation about the meaning of the film the first two times that I saw it, however after I used my 26 year-old cousin as a guinea pig, representing average movie goers just looking for a cool flick, all he had to say was "That was fxcked up. Really fxcking fxcked up." The story line can be a little confusing and you really have to see this movie more than a few times to get the full effect out of it. The snow-globe shot, very reminscent of "La Cité des enfants perdus" aka City of Lost Children, in its surrealism is quite touching and somehow almost awe inspiring. The amount of plannign and fore-thought needed to undertake such a good shot is very rarely found in an independent film, this is one such film. I give this a straight 8.5 stars out of 10 because of the genius displayed by the crew, characters, and story line!
Nothing to Lose (1997)
Tim Robbins and Martin Lawrence?
I was sceptical when I first heard about Steve Oedekerk's film Nothing To Lose. Having been tramatized by MARTIN on Fox's nigh lineup for so many years and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate began to stink up the box office, I just couldn't force myself to see more Martin Lawrence. Years later I saw the film at a friends house and I was amazed with the on camera chemistry that Robbins and Lawrence work with. I am a fairly big Tim Robbins fan, I think he made Arlington Road worth watching, but disliked Lawrence so much I could hardly finish the film. The comedic moments of the film where well executed and they left me laughing, not roling on the ground like most Oedkerk, but laughing none the less. There are a lot of serious issues that Oedkerk tried to tackle in the screenplay... the black and white play-off between Robbins and Lawrence makes the film worth watching. PS you gotta love Oedekerk's appearance in the film, the late night security officer Baxter - check it out!
High Strung (1992)
Steve is a genius...
Steve Oedekerk is a genius when it comes to well written comedies, so when I heard about high strung I nearly freaked out. Basically in this film, one of Steve's more independent workings, Thane Furrows, portrayed by Steve, stays locked in his apartment and bitches about stuff. The movie was fairly engaging and had a lot of good one liners but some of the rants that Oedekerk launches into are a little lame. The original comedy in this movie; especially Furrow's boss and his description of his job. Jim Carrey does play a small role in the film, death in particular, but he is a pivitol part of the plot and comes into a little more prominence in the end of the film. Also another noticable appearance on this film is Kirsten Dunst playing a small girl right after a scene with Thompas Wilson AKA Biff from Back To The Future... not that we really care but... for Carrey fans I wouldn't reccomend High Strung. Though many of you would enjoy it a great deal would be looking for a Jim Carrey movie and Oedekerk's style is to slowly paced for most Carrey fans.
An interesting piece...
This film is not mindless dribble as some would have you beleive, yet I am sure that the same people railed on Rob Zombie's gore fest House of 1000 Corpses. Yes I will admit that the plot is slightly confusing at points, where exactly did the cannibalistic semi-mutated inbred freaks come from and how are there so many of them? Likewise the sex scene is horribly overdrawn, but holds a sort of tension with the family. As for the acting BOB should receive some sort of award for his encounter with the youngest brother. The films utilization of the heavily overplayed mega-maniacal bash-brothers receives some what of a new spin in this campy flick. The father in the film reminded me, strangely, of Bruce Campbell minus all of his good acting qualities. What was left was an over acting under thinking middle aged Vietnam vet with a hell of a chip on his shoulder...heh, just a little strange. However in spite of all of its unattractive qualities Real Killers is strangely engaging, for a hack and slash shoot 'em up, non-stop action, adolescent testasterone pumper. Any fans of vintage hack and slash flicks, or an interest in independent horror films would probably get a kick out of this flick, just don't expect to much