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No Strings Attached (I) (2011)
1/10
Rat Vomit
23 February 2013
This was an abysmal flick with absolutely no redeeming qualities. For one, only one night stands truly qualify as "no strings attached" sexual encounters. And the title alone is a pathetic, backdated 1970's pick up line anyway. Take a look at the survivors of that hedonistic decade for a reality check. The only thing movies like this do is to encourage young people to be promiscuous and to have completely unrealistic concepts about sex and relationships. If you live your life according to this movie's philosophy I guarantee you'll wind up miserable and your life won't have a "fairy tale" ending. Life is only like this for half a second. The rest of it ain't gonna be nothing like this. Typical Hollywood mind-rot.
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1/10
Doggie-doo from Satan's sphincter
9 March 2012
This is about as bad as it gets folks. I usually won't bother reviewing a film I only got ten minutes into and this is no exception. This is not a review but a fervent prayer. The folks at HM had long since sold out years before this 'flick' was aborted out of their greasy grimy orifices, but to see so much negativity in so short a period of time was almost heroically criminal. The spirit of the original HM was spit, shat, vomited and peed on so much in the first 10 minutes, I had to run, nay fly to my laptopper to vent my spleen. Thank goodness for IMDb, and thank the Cosmos for Karma. The perpetrators of this atrocity will pay for their crime by being forced to watch this monstrosity for years and years or at least until they hunt down and burn/erase every copy of this insult to the concept of eyes. This one was such a letdown, even the Great Space-Demon demanded his money back, and he's the one who commissioned it! :)
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1/10
NY vs Chi pie--Bummer!
27 November 2010
What a load! This was nothing more than an advertising campaign for half a dozen hand-picked pizza places in Chi and NY. And the fact that the show made no mention of Chicago's great and unique thin-crust pizza? Most people I know from Chi,including myself rarely eat deep-dish pizza yet that's all they seem to think Chicagoans eat!!-

If the only pizza you could get in Chicago was deep dish, I'd move to NYC--I'm not kidding. NYC is the King of pizza towns, I know that, but the best thin crust pizza in Chi would have done a lot better in those fireman competitions, no doubt about it!! I'd like to see this done again and done right.
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Short Cuts (1993)
9/10
Aged Well
5 June 2008
This film really has gotten better with age- I saw it when it came out and even at 26 with one CA trip under my belt, I really wasn't mature enough to understand it. I felt like a lid had been opened up on a terrible nightmare(L.A.)and was better off unopened. Also, I thought it was kinda pathetic Huey Lewis agreed to whip out "lil' Huey" on screen-- showed how far he'd fallen. These sentiments haven't changed, but 15 years later I can really appreciate the subtle social and human commentary as well as the fascinating weave of stories and characters Shortcuts has to offer. Easily Altman's masterpiece and some of the best work from many of the illustrious cast. This film stands pretty much alone--Only thing it really reminds me of is Maupin's 'Tales of the City'. All in all Shortcuts still resonates and the helicopter-armada/earthquake elements give it that end-times feel which makes this movie somewhat eerily prophetic at times.
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Bummer (1973)
1/10
Bad!
13 April 2008
Good Lord was this bad! I came across an '85 VHS copy in the box for a buck so it has some collectors value -but the title says it all--billed as "the ultimate rock and roll trip" -which we can assume must naturally end in a "Bummer"--this piece of dreck wasn't lacking in sound or picture quality like a lot of these 70's soft porn one-shots--but nothing else is even worth mentioning--not even for camp value. The blond was hot in the strip club scene but I honestly can't say I made it much farther..just too, god awful BAD! I guess you gotta be really, really drunk or worse to make it through something like this. Makes you wonder what the winners we're like who actually stayed all the way through this thing at the Drive-in or on Times Square went it was released. And the music--yikes! Too terrible to describe. All in all, the most you can say is that "Bummer" is a movie that truly, truly lives up to it's title.
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The Joe Piscopo Special (1984 TV Special)
8/10
Good stuff from an underrated performer..
8 March 2008
The Joe Piscopo Video was a solid piece of work when it first came out and upon re watching it I'd have to say that despite it's being dated, Joe's comic sensibilities are right on. The video moves at a relaxed pace but still delivers the laughs--Joe's impressions of then-current celebrities are pretty much spot-on and his Sinatra has never truly been equaled- must be an Italian thing. The Night of the Living Dead-Jerry's in his "Thriller" spoof is over the top and had me in stitches. The scenes with he and Eddie Murphy we're pretty cool--you could feel a real friendship there. All in all It's too bad Joe moved away from comedy and took to lifting weights and making beer commercials. He was a better comic than that.
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Tragic and Moving Tale..
25 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is a moving,tender film about the hardship and ultimate tragedy of a poor out of work Mexican laborer putting all his eggs in one basket and ultimately losing in his attempt to cross the border to the US to find work. The fact that this was based on a true story makes this all the more poignant--and the film does an effective job of putting a simple human face on the stereotype of the illegal immigrant. Tragedia De Macario addresses the state of oppression that drives people of the land in all parts of the world to flee their desperate conditions and try to make a stab at it somewhere better. The love Macario and his wife, Regina feel for one another is what really drives this film and the visitation of the Virgin Mother in the church and in the train is what ties the whole movie together. I was touched by this moving, sad and all to true tale of hardship and struggle. I would recommend it to anyone seeking a better understanding of the realities of this world.
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7/10
Dark Clouds in LAs Golden Age
8 March 2007
I caught the last 10-15 minutes of this movie on its network premiere back in 77--- its haunted me all this time, now the DVD is out and I enjoyed it on a number of different levels--This is one of those heart- string pullers that does a great job of encapsulating the mid-70s LA car-youth culture and all those now scarce, classic neon signs! The plot and character development are transparent which gives the whole thing a strange, ethereal vibe heightened by the then hip rock and roll soundtrack. Its almost one long Elton John video in a way. Bobby and Rose are sensitively played, and if the acting and dialog aren't always the best well so what, the actors have heart and are good to look at and don't disturb the zen experience a movie like this can bring about. Mid 70s LA is ancient history and "Aloha, Bobby and Rose" serves as a surprisingly good time capsule for that era. The couple are doomed from the start and this film is depressing for the most part. A lot like "Midnight Cowboy" in many respects, tho not as good. Still AB@R is a cult classic and I think a lot of young folks would enjoy it.
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Apocalypto (2006)
8/10
Solid film--Timely theme
27 December 2006
I enjoyed Gibson's, "Apocalypo" on a purely visceral level, which is the way I prefer to experience movies on the big screen. The wonderful faces and natural acting talent of the cast we're worth the price of admission alone and the cinematography and scenery we're uniformly breathtaking. I think the historical and astrological inaccuracies to be forgivable as artistic license, though just barely. That being said, I had no real problems with this movie, I think there was an aspect of Meso-American civilization that was accurately depicted in this film--indeed the bad vibes still exist at many of the ancient sites alluded to in the film--human sacrifice was practiced in the extreme and the priest class of some of those pre-Columbian civilizations had descended into decadence much like in other ancient cultures, Rome, Egypt, etc. To this day, Cortez is both dually remembered as both a killer and a liberator. I think Gibson's film makes for both interesting and controversial viewing--something we need in this age of push-button murderers and evil, decadent rulers who wear thousand-dollar suits instead of feathers and demon masks, but practice the same deceptions and atrocities as of old -except on an exponentially larger playing field. This was the main message of this movie as far as I'm concerned. Good work, Mel.
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Planetary Traveler (1997 Video)
cool cosmic journey
17 July 2006
i've never seen"the mind's eye"(producer jan nickman's previous claim to fame) but i quite enjoyed "planetary traveler"-- for a digital newbie like myself the dated quality of the graphics and computer animation wasn't that big an issue. the colors and textures of p.t. we're fine, the worlds themselves quite pleasing--some practically visionary--reminded me of those airbrushed alien worlds and starship paintings of the late 70's-early 80's era.....the music was alright, not mind blowing but it did the trick--overall the DVD played like your typical in-house planetarium offering with a more imaginative theme. i'd love to see something truly spacey and mind blowing done in this same vein using current software and hardware capabilities as well as incorporating a more updated musical and visual aesthetic. that said i found planetary travelers to be exciting and inspiring on both an artistic and cosmic level.
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Sin City (2005)
frank's fake feminism
14 July 2006
this movie was all kinds of bad--- miller has fallen and fallen hard. rourke's performance and the slick visual style of the movie not withstanding, sin city has absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever. the plot, character and dialog clichés we're practically quantum, the overall mood and message was negative while the gratuitous violence seemed to serve no other purpose than to graphically and painfully illustrate how completely warped and out of touch miller's sensibilities have become. the most laughable and ridiculous aspect of this turkey was the way women we're depicted. it was like if he gave all the whores automatic weapons and ninja powers it would compensate for the fact that in sin city all women are either gun-toting homicidal hookers or victims of depraved psycho killers. film noir this was definitely not. millers comic book stuff was innovative and fresh back in the 80's, but if anything it seems as if either his muse has taken a hard left or the guy just doesn't have what it takes to make a watchable movie. probably a little of both. i'm sure a lot of fans are gonna disagree big time, but i'm sorry--this movie completely missed the mark.
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Heavy Metal (1981)
imagination candy
12 July 2006
i was 14 when H.M. came out, saw it with my best friend--my art definitely reflected it's influence--a year or two later i got into the mag itself and remember the early 80's as being a high point in H.F.'s quality. i finally got around to re-watching it the other day on video-- brought back a lot of memories and impressions from that era. the lack of plot, story and taste now seem like an asset rather than a detriment-- Heavy Metal reflected a lot of what the late 70's head was about-- shiny form and light substance, sexy women, cool cars, spaceships and drug references, etc. considering the times it's impressive that this movie even got made at all. looks like the work of a bunch of talented stoners who got their sh*t together enough to finish an inspired project. besides,the colors alone are worth watching this film-- beats the heck out of practically anything Disney's done in 60 years or so. it would be great to see someone take some of the visual sensibilities of H.F. and American Pop and update them for the times in a new era rock and roll fantasy. Anyway I think there's still a lot to like in this movie and inspiration to be mined for future creators. long live Heavy Metal!
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Van Gogh (1991)
Nice Try, but...
22 May 2006
The strength of this film hinges on the plausibility of the account- if this is indeed an accurate portrayal of Van Gogh's last days then it at least has some innate value in that regard. Although the pain of V.G.'s suffering was excruciatingly heightened by the real-life pace, the film suffered overall from being too slow. I was left feeling depressed about Van Gogh and got the feeling that maybe some aspects of a person's life are better left undramatized. The character of "Van Gogh" ultimately comes across as a hopeless case--crazy, depressed, bitter, irresponsible and ill-tempered, hopelessly dependent on his brother and resentful to the point of suicide because of it. But is that the whole story? There must be more and this movie doesn't leave the viewer with the impression that any stones have been left unturned. Too much of this man's earlier life is unknown to us(assumed) and his actions and relationship with his brother, Theo have no real context for the viewer to truly sympathize or understand Van Gogh. And the relations he has with the love interests in the film are in many ways stilted and hard to believe. Van Gogh was a stormy, complex, singular type of human being whose story resists just this type of retelling. Nice try but I think this film missed.
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5/10
taut, noirish thriller with comedic moments
15 April 2005
this film was fun especially if you like dense b&w crime stuff from the golden age-- the plot, dialogue, etc are all pretty standard for a "b" movie from this era and genre--performances are varied but consistent- no maltese falcon here- but the film is relaxing and keeps you watching, which is half the attraction of these old, stock productions. fav scene for me comes at the end when Payne confronts the old man on how obvious the details of the set-up we're with a wonderfully overly dramatic little speech culminating with the closer- " like honey to a bee", delivered with complete conviction. perfect ending! other highlights we're lee van cleef as tony "cheesy hood" romano, noticing the slight resemblance between john payne and kevin spacey, and plenty of real tough talk from the crooks and the cops. not a bad way to spend a Friday night.
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4/10
Not exactly a sleeper, but....
10 February 2005
Frankie and Johnny wasn't half bad as Elvis pictures go- which means it was half- watchable as a movie and not just a typical kitchy vehicle to ogle the King. The musical performances we're good and the sets and costumes interesting-the high point in the film is the last performance of Frankie and Johnny--Elvis actually comes off pretty suave at times as a river boat gambler and his character played well off a nubile, young Donna Douglas. Harry Morgan does a good job as Elvis' older, more wary sidekick and the rest of the cast work well and don't detract/subtract from the main action which is of course- Elvis. Not a bad way to kill an afternoon or round off an evening of insomnia.
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Being There (1979)
10/10
A Gift....
31 January 2005
Even as a kid I loved this movie and upon seeing it again as an adult I found much to re appreciate in this marvelous sleeper of a film. Sellers is in top form as are the supporting cast--the shear farce of it all makes the improbable seem probable--and as a vehicle for political/social commentary it ranks as one of the best dark comedies ever made. The inclusion of all the 70's TV clips make Being There an invaluable period piece and provide the film with some of it's funniest scenes. The movie also provides an interesting portrayal of the trappings of the super wealthy and it's portrayal of the workings of power and money are reminiscent of some of Kubrick's better work. Check out the all seeing eye of the Illuminati on the apex of the pyramid of "Rand's" mausoleum during the funeral scene. Pretty powerful stuff--makes Being There all the more an important and revealing work--as well as spiritual. Like the protagonist, Chauncey Gardner, there's something about this film that makes you feel better about life and , yeah, even about death. Kosinski's, Ashby's and Seller's gift to us all.
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