Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Wake Me Up When It's Over
I'm flabbergasted by the rave reviews on this movie. Absolutely one of the most bland, pointless, and boring movies I've ever seen. I had almost rented it a number of times--only because Meryl Streep was in it and I figured it had to be worthwhile thus--but kept foregoing the idea because every time I read the back of the jacket, it sounded like a very pointless, boring movie. So, I can't exactly say I wasn't warned.
The movie begins by constructing and displaying the personality of the characters involved, adds some suspenseful music just to keep you guessing what's around the corner, turns belly up about half-way in, and ends in a blurry, unfinished mess to the complete befuddlement and dissatisfaction of the viewer. Streep and Hoffman certainly played their parts adequately, but that is as much acclaim as can be had for this sleeping pill, in my opinion. It is NOT suspenseful, it is NOT a nail-biter, my daughter and I literally found ourselves nodding off rather than on the edge of our seat, and it's anyone's guess why the very end of the movie has Sis. Beauvier bawling her head off about how she's always doubting things. Boom. The movie suddenly ends on that point--as if the writers had no idea how to truly end it and simply chopped it off just then. It's pointless, doesn't fit with the movie at all, and had my daughter and me looking at each other incredulously and saying, "Huhhhh??" We couldn't help but to laugh.
One finds himself tolerating the blandness from scene to scene for at least half the movie--if for no other reason than to see if a plot or the promised suspense actually ever develops. It is highly predictable and highly lacking in its delivery, though I can not fault the actors. In fact much of the movie seems like a "two-man band" with Streep and Hoffman merely playing out a script between each other from scene to scene and Amy Adams popping in from time to time just to remind us how tediously prim, proper, and lackluster sexually-repressed women were in the 1800s (neverminding that the movie was set in 1964).
I must admit it was refreshing to see Hoffman play something other than the quintessential and overtly gay man . . . he did the job rather well and sustained the emotional life of the movie. For this I give it two stars.
Bosque de sombras (2006)
Not Worth My 10 Cents . . . Much Less My 3 Bucks.
Singly one of the stupidest, most poorly written, and pointless movies I've ever seen. The acting was that of a group of 8th graders on their first rehearsal run, "twists" meant to . . . heighten? the plot (you know, the plot that never was) are outlandish and absurd, and the viewer--"captivated" by mere curiosity as to what could possibly come of an inept wreck like this--sits blankly from scene to scene wasting brain cells by the minute. Case in point: Gary Oldman victoriously wards off and kills a dog, violently drowns a man, and frantically runs for his life with an old man and a grown imbecile on his heels . . . only to acquiescently kneel with no objection whatsoever and passively take a bullet in the head from an old man that he could've overpowered with his hands tied behind his back! His reaction was much as if he'd been on the lam for a month and were utterly worn out and realized that he was insurmountably outnumbered to boot. It didn't fit the scene, the mood, or reality whatsoever.
I agree with others: what on Earth was Oldman thinking??? He was the only reason I purchased the movie (because we all know any Oldman movie is a good movie) and the only reason I stuck out all the lame acting and pitiful directing/storytelling. Then he drops to his knees and stares into space while some old geezer takes 5 minutes to aim at him from 3 inches away and shoot him?
I'm guessing Oldman suffered an erratic spending spree the month before being offered this script and needed some quick mortgage money to save his hide. Nothing else makes sense.
One thing's for sure . . . he did himself an unthinkable injustice by participating in a flop like this.
The Story of Us (1999)
Absolutely Wonderful--And I Hate Lifetime Movies
Okay, let's set the stage: I hate Lifetime movies for their poor acting, cheesy scripts, lack of realism, and ridiculous soap-opera style plots and "emotions." (And I just ain't into all that Kleenex.) Can't stand mush and not much on tearjerkers. But I truly can't relate with those saying this was an awful movie. I laughed my tail off! Hilarious! So real (well, for the most part); you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll hold your breath, you'll just want more. The "moments" were very real and well-done and I agree that Willis and Pfeiffer rendered stellar performances. It WAS a romantic comedy. (Did YOU see it?!) Such a well-written script and excellently directed. Virtually no complaints from start to finish. (Although, admittedly, I watched an "edited" version and missed all the language.)
Anyone who's been married any length of time (and especially for a number of years) will appreciate the reality and depth of emotion and meaning in this poignant movie. Sense of humor required.
Totally worth seeing again and again!
Shadow of Fear (2004)
One Lame Performance . . . or make that about 20
I give this a 3 out of ten, and that's only because cuties Quinn, Spader, and Coyote (in that order) were in it. Aidan Quinn gave the best performance, living up to his sensual, commanding presence as a cunning detective. He is as handsome as handsome gets and was quite frankly the only reason I kept watching the movie until it ended (the end being reminiscent of a "Ya seen one, ya seen 'em all: SuperHero Saves the Day" moment). I suspect he had no clue the final cut of the movie would render such a poor product, much less that it threatened to weaken his very reputation as a reputable actor!
Spader gave likely the worst performance I've ever seen him yield--with virtually no emotion and even less vocabulary employed throughout. His performance was faarrr from "commanding" or even engaging and was flatly unconvincing. The movie was played out like everyone was rehearsing the script for the first time in an audition and someone just happened to have a videocam nearby and decided to kill some time. To see a bunch of grown men sitting around sobbing in their drinks like the poor, helpless victims of a single Mastermind Grim Reaper (more like MustardMind) was beyond ridiculous and I came out thinking of Quinn, Spader, and Coyote: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? (Or were they all just really hard up for some cash that month?) The only thing missing was Spader's tights, cape, and evil mask as some cartoonish villain and hearing everyone that passed him cry, "Heil Ashbury!" The movie is a blight to them all. Such great actors and so poor a finished product . . . I'd hate to have something like this on my resume . . . especially so late in my established career.
A Knight's Tale (2001)
What do you mean only 6 and a half stars?!?!
Brilliantly directed and excellently acted! The blending of "golden oldies" from the 70s and 80s gives this movie an extra humorous and endearing boost and bespeaks the writer's appreciable creativity and perception. Heath Ledger does a wonderful job as the lead character--especially being so young himself--and his sidekicks in the movie are just as likable . . . in fact, one finds himself rather attached.
The director did a wonderful job focusing on small things that one would hardly had given thought to . . . which--at least for the visually-oriented--calls into play a deeper level of emotion that the movie would have been much amiss without. Such keen observations render intrigue and the director thus avoids the monotony and mediocrity of presenting the work superficially. Much of the sentiment and reflective thought of the movie is translated merely through a close-up, an unusual angle, or a slow-motion technique at just the right moment. It was a job well done and I was very impressed. The humor was never dull and was always appreciable--down to the last moments--and the movie boasts some very touching, moving moments before the final curtain draws.
Paul Bettany was purely delightful as Geoffrey Chaucer and the film simply could not have done without the spontaneous, spiked humor of short-fused Watt, played outstandingly by Alan Tudyk. I was speechless upon learning that Tudyk is really a natural born and bred Texan who completely (and marvelously!) faked an English accent for the movie. He had me totally fooled and upon watching it, I thought they'd gotten the guy from "deep in the heart of England."
The jousting scenes are intense and well done--if not a bit repetitious, but there is motive and reason behind each repetition so they are tolerated well and manage to keep the viewer engaged. In addition, there is wonderful chemistry among the actors and I suspect they all had a generally great time making the movie together. This translates throughout their production virtually automatically.
Except for the nudity with Paul Bettany that we could have all done without and with the exception of the brief bed scene and a few choice words here or there, this makes an otherwise excellent family movie or great choice for a cozy night in front of the fireplace with a good flick.
Dreaming of Joseph Lees (1999)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Bed--Possible Spoiler
I thought this was an exceptionally well-directed, superbly-acted movie with a winding (albeit erotic!) plot . . . but a terrible, "didn't see it coming" end. The end was abrupt and totally out of place. At the very least, the "cuckoo" suggested in the title should've died off and the story should've then ended with Eva and her lover boy staring off into the sunset together
Without yielding spoilers, I will also say pish posh to all the hogwash about how it should have been an easy choice for her to abandon her "dreamer" boy and stay with the "one that loved her." The one that loved her did not love her, folks--he was a sick, depraved, mentally-ill soul who could not love properly, treat her properly, nor ever perceive her properly. He could not even relate properly to the real world let alone truly "love" Eva. He was a twisted, childish narcissist incapable of rendering her a suitable existence--unlike his dashing and mentally-sound rival. I wouldn't have even done for Harry what she did after the crazed stunt he pulled toward the movie's end--I would have left him to the State and not allowed him to manipulate me through his own self-destructive threats or actions like he did Eva. And then I would have happily sailed off with Joseph without batting an eye. Somehow in the movie she was made to bear the guilt and responsibility of every errant thought, motive, or action of Harry, and I don't think that was fair or deserving.
Despite the "too many unanswered questions" ending, the movie--though a bit predictable--draws one in and holds him to the end with an eerie blend of nostalgia, sweet sentamentalism, erotic interest, and blimey--that strange, unusual, and tentacular "twist" so prevalent in English films (where they almost twist away from the norm or conventional a bit . . . but then, is that just the English?)
The film is definitely worth its time.
Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
Horribly Boring (Possible minor spoiler?)
This must be one of the most boring, pointless, and questionable movies I've ever seen. Though the actors were all competent in their parts, the movie plodded along with little plot and a "wading through quicksand" pace. The viewer finds himself hanging onto the thin rope that keeps him attached to the movie from start to finish if for no other reason than to see if a plot actually ever develops or if a romantic/erotic relationship eventually develops between Vermeer and Griet--one that goes beyond the mere (accidental) touching of their hands during a painting session or his staring salaciously at her mouth while instructing her to moisten her lips. While the desire can clearly be felt from the man toward the girl in his looks and stance alone, the movie delivers the sexual energy and appeal that one would expect to behold in the open marketplace of sixteenth century England: absolutely none. Its provocative innuendos are reminiscent of those contained in medieval prose--so subdued and "inert" that they hardly qualify as provocative in our world--which leaves this movie equally disenchanting and lacking. The subtle undercurrents and "alluring" innuendos serve, then, as little more than farcical entertainment and I likewise found myself constantly critiquing it's silliness. Perfect for 85 year old prudes who've never entered the world of romance or twelve year old girls who delightfully fantasize what marriage may be like. As far as the Interest Factor, one could basically fall asleep after the first 15 minutes, wake up 5 or 10 minutes before the end, and essentially not miss anything in between--oh, except the stable scene. Certainly not worth a monetary investment.
Grizzly Falls (1999)
Not Worth the Time
This was one of the biggest let downs I ever experienced in a family movie. The language was ridiculously strong and the acting was very forced during dramatic moments (not natural at all) and very humdrum during more relaxed moments (the actors did little more than go through the motions and merely say lines). The movie rolls along with a boy and a bear . . . and a boy and a bear . . . and a boy and a bear. You get the feeling while you're watching the movie that you're peeking in on a wildlife adventure with a boy who has lost his way in the wide open wild--and is not the least bit worried about it (because all nature is at peace with him) and, whaddayaknow! He just happens upon a bear who was trained at birth to treat every lost person in the woods like a life-long friend. The plot may have been an interesting one were it not for the lackadasaical directing, and the acting spurs little more than a few mouth drops (due to unnecessary language in front of the little ones) and a few yawns. Seriously, I couldn't keep my ten year old interested. We've never rented it twice and will never bother again.