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Il postino (1994)
Good but the director wanted it to boring
As far as I can remember, I've watched this movie two years ago. That's why I will not write too much about it. No, I didn't forget it. The problem is that two years ago I was 13 years old and my "cinematographic taste" was very different. Titanic, that time, was for me, the best movie ever done. Of course, my opinion has changed a lot but I still can remember that "Il Postino", even being good, was slow and boring sometimes. And I don't think that it'll change if I watch it again.
"Il Postino" IS about the relationship of Mario, a postman, and the known poet Pablo Neruda. At first, it's a typical Italian movie: the soundtrack and the photography are beautiful, there are some really remarkable scenes (if I'm right, there's a radio involved) and the acting is superb. But there are some flaws as slowness and the miss of a strong plot line that could make us really FELL something. There isn't anything very special about it.
Maybe what made me fell so disappointed about this movie is its director. In fact, Michael Radford is Indian, and that's why "Il Postino" looks like a typical Italian movie only at first. If you think a little, it doesn't really is Italian. It's slow and boring in some scenes because it looks like an Indian movie. The Indian Shekhar Kapur made the same with "Elizabeth", which could be very good but was completely slow, dark and confuse.
Overall, a good movie but, definitely, far away from being good enough to be into the 5 nominated for the Best Movie Oscar.
ps: typical Italian movies are great and much better
L'argent de poche (1976)
Sweet, funny and relaxing
I must confess that I wasn't expecting much about this movie. I decided to watch it because it was from the very critically acclaimed François Truffaut. And, somehow, because it's French, and I really like the way European movies are, specially French, Spanish and Italian ones. These languages and Portuguese have many points in common, being most of the words derived from a similar in Latin. So, you have a idea of what the characters are really saying. Sometimes when you watch a movie without knowing anything about the language, you can't judge the acting, know if the character is happy, angry, being ironic. You must trust in what's written in the captions.
In less than 20 minutes I was completely involved and interested in the history. There isn't a big or strong plot line, being it about a small group of children in a small town in France. We can say it's a mix of comedy with drama although most of the times we watch a pleasant or sweet situation. Some of them are extremely funny.
If you don't like movies where children are the main characters, stay away from "L'Argent de Poche". But if you find them cute and sweet it's highly recommendable. And if you at least respect them, it's a must watching movie too (remember: it's Truffaut's!!!). As a movie from a good director, the photography, art direction, the camera movements, etc, are perfect. It's, definitely, a pleasant and light movie to watch.
God bless the Dogme 95!
I always wanted to watch "Festen" since I knew about the Dogme 95. As any Danish movie, it was released in a unique cultural theater. And, as most of the European movies, in less than 3 weeks, it wasn't...
OK, you'll tell the truth: I don't know why but I didn't watch it on a theater, and I could have done it. I waited for its release in video but all the times I went to the videostore I forgot to rent it. But one year after the release on theaters, it was rolling in Eurochannel (a cable-TV channel. It's all about Europe). I couldn't miss that chance so, on a Friday night, at 22:00, I finally watched it. And what an AMAZING film!!!
At first, the plot seems interesting and simple but after 20 minutes you finally realize how strong and provocative Festen really is. It's about one celebration made by the patriarch of the family Kingenfelt in the hotel where he lives. He's commemorating his 60 years. Christian, the older son, makes a speech where secrets are revealed.
The rules of the Dogme 95 as the use of natural light, camera in the hands, etc, help to create a claustrophobic and confidential clime, like nobody knows that someone is filming them. The scenes look incredibly real. Paprika Steen (Helene) and Ulrich Thomsen (Christian) were more than extraordinary. Paprika is a great actress and I can't stand waiting to watch "Idiotern", the second Dogme, in which she's acting again.
"Festen" is not just a worth watching film. It's a worth watching, re-watching, watching again, renting many times and recording to watch it a hundred times. Being the first Dogme, it's a mark in the cinema's history.
Grade - A+
She's All That (1999)
Teen Trash Part One
I can't believe I'm wasting my time commenting this movie. Worse: tomorrow, I'll have this movie in my comment history, one black stain between masterpieces as 'Eyes Wide Shut', 'Hilary and Jackie' and amazing movies as 'Pleasantville'. And permanent.
How could they try to adapt one classic, 'My Fair Lady', for teen audience? What were they thinking? And with such a bad cast! Freddie Prinze Jr. is the most inexpressive and silly actor of that generation and Rachel Lee Cook is so ordinary. Why don't they look at Reese Witherspoon, one young actress that do really good movies? Why don't they follow her example? Or at least try, because, obviously, one good director would never accept these two in his movie.
The soundtrack, the photography and the screenplay (of course) are so bad. Well, that's enough, I'll not write anything else about 'She's All That'. Let's write about one good movie, 'Cruel Intentions'.
The unique adaptation with young cast that's very good is the audacious 'Cruel Intentions'. There, they were not afraid of doing a really hot and original movie, with profanities, sex, bad attitudes, etc. The director, Roger Kumble, did what he wanted to do, without interventions or adaptations to receive one PG-13 rating.
That may look obvious, but I'll write it anyway: don't spend your money in this crap. I'm not saying that anyone that watch this movie will hate it but think a little: with so many masterpieces to rent, all Stanley Kubrick's movies available, gripping films of Hitchcock on video, etc, why rent this? Ok, you don't like old movies. So rent Boogie Nights, Short Cuts, Schindler's List, Shakespeare in Love! But don't rent this 100% commercial movie.
Obs: Wait for "Teen Trash 2 - American Pie" and for the final chapter of the trilogy: "Teen Trash 3 - 10 things I hate about you".
The Green Mile (1999)
I confess: it's a great movie
Surprised. That's how I was feeling after seeing "The Green Mile". I've never expected anything from this movie, in fact, before watching, I used to think that it would be boring, exaggerated, silly, annoying, irritant, ugly and an unjustifiable nominee for the Oscar, occupying space that should be used by much better movies. Most of these "qualities" were deduced from the scenes that were always shown in the television: the little mouse running, the little mouse eating, the little mouse that... like the whole film was about the mouse. And more than this, by some extremely exaggerated ones, where the 2 meters Michael Clarke Duncan asked Tom Hanks to leave the lights on in the night.
I knew that the movie wouldn't be so stupid, of course. It was nominated for the Oscar for some good reason. So, I wanted to take a look at it. After watching "The Talented Mr. Ripley", "The Cider House Rules", "American Beauty" and "Being John Malkovich", it was "The Green Mile" time. I went to the cheaper theater in my town and... surprise! After less than 30 minutes I was completely interested and excited.
Although the mouse really appeared a lot in story, it wasn't as irritant as I thought it would be. In fact, the little mouse was very important in some of the main and most emotional scenes. The movie would be worse without it. I thought Michael Clarke Duncan was good in his role but not amazing. Tom Hanks was. The cinematography was beautiful and the execution scenes were remarkable. And the three hours and eight minutes passed very fast.
I still think that "Eyes Wide Shut", "Magnolia", "Being John Malkovich", "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and even "Election" deserved the Best Picture nomination (much) more than "The Green Mile". But now, at least, I'm not so indignant. "The Green Mile" has its qualities, and these aren't a few. 9/10
Bringing Out the Dead (1999)
Not a masterpiece, but still great
"Bringing Out The Dead" is the first Scorsese's film I've seen. No, I''m not an alien! In fact, I've been watching good movies for just two years (I'm 15). Unfortunately here in Brazil they didn't keep the intriguing original title, changing for "Vivendo no Limite" (Living on the Limit). I must confess that one of the main reasons that made me want to watch that movie was the title. And, of course, the director and the plot.
While you're watching it you can see that it's made by a director of renown: it tries to be different, has one story that doesn't have clichés or any formula (good screenplay), has amazing camera moves, memorable scenes and it's not make exclusively to get money, it's original.
The film is the story of one paramedic, Frank Pierce, performed by Nicolas Cage. After failing in the rescue of one young girl, he enters in a deep crisis, starts to fail in all the future rescues and is haunted by the girl's spectrum. The movie begins in the rescue of one old man, the father of Mary Burke (Patricia Arquette), and after it we join Frank for 3 days and we'll see if he is or not going to "save" himself.
I still don't understand why Scorsese gave so much importance for Patricia's character, just a daughter of one of the hundreds patients. Maybe, as Frank was seeing her every night on the hospital, as he was the doctor that she was more related to, maybe her simplicity, her sweet voice, etc, helped him but I still think she was very strange. And sometimes the movie remimd the show "ER"! Well, in fact that's not a problem as "ER" isn't a bad show.
Nicolas, with his stressed-face was great in the role. And the small scenes in the ambulance with "Janie Jones", by "The Clash" playing in the background are just amazing! Pay attention at the the whole soundtrack, at the beautiful cinematography and at some fun jokes in the dialogues (in general, said by the other paramedics).
In fact, if I could, I would rate it 8.5/10. Most of the people in this situation would decide to give 8, as it's Scorsese's and should be a remarkable masterpiece. I'm the opposite. I'm giving it a 9 because it's Scorsese's. "Bringing Out The Dead" is not a masterpiece, but it's still a great movie by a great director.
Cute and funny but "useless"
I don't really know why I've written that this movie is useless. I think it's obvious that it won't change your mind or your life, won't make you cry or laugh (OK, you can smile sometimes), won't be successful, won't be anything. It's just a movie, an ordinary movie in such a competitive world.
Here in Brazil, a competitive place too, I went to one multiplex (I hope that's the name for these theatres with 7, 8, 9 (...) screens there) to watch "Teaching Mrs. Tingle" (I'm really embarrassed now). Unfortunately, the movie was sold-out, I had already watched "The Sixth Sense" twice, I really didn't want to watch "Bowfinger", the teen-trash "American Pie" again, the horrible "End of Days", and the most horrible "Letters from a killer". So, I tried the unique "watch-able" movie there, the unique romance, the unique that still had some tickets in that competitive world: "Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence".
The Brazilian name, "Mero Acaso" (in a free translation, Mere Chance or Pure Fate) is one good summary for this movie about one American woman that moves to England and, by fate, develop three relationships with three guys. These three guys are friends but they don't know that they're seeing the same woman. Interesting? Not very much.
In fact, the original title tells the story. I watched it without knowing that she would meet the three, so really enjoyed. It was relaxing, fast, cute, romantic but like films made for television. No big plot, no big camera moves, no big cast, no big musics, no big budget... (although some of the best movies I've ever seen were very cheap). And it had some awful stereotypes: the American girl was blond, feminist, modern, on (bad) fashion, colored, with a huge suitcase. The British guy was shy, out of fashion, polite, bla, bla, bla. It's perfect to watch at your house eating popcorn.
The truth is that I'm lucky. This movie is much better that "Teaching Mrs. Tingle", at least. Thanks God that we live in a competitive world!
The Bone Collector (1999)
Great Angelina but not so great movie
"Oh, Angelina Jolie is in this movie? So, I must see it!" That was the first though I had about "The Bone Collector". OK, I was really impressed by its intriguing name but as I'm not a big fan of suspense and action, Angelina was always the main reason to watch it.
"The Bone Collector" is a good movie. It's mysterious, thrilling, well-done but I'm not sure if I should write that it's realist or not. In fact, at the same time it is and it isn't. Almost all the victims of the killer died although they were always very closer to save them, for minutes. This is truly realist. BUT the way they find the places where the victims were is completely unrealistic. In seconds Rhyme (Denzel Washington) was solving the clues given by the killer. You may not believe but it was like this:
Clue: a green card. Rhyme : "Well, he gave us a green card. Green - forest. Forest - trees. Threes need sun light. Sun - sky. Sky - clouds. Clouds - rain. So, he's gonna kill in the park (green) in a rainy day (rain) near the shop (card).
No, I'm not exaggerating and I'm sure you'll fell that while you're watching the movie. You're intrigued by some strange clues and signals given by the killer and Rhyme, in seconds, resolve everything breaking all the mystery and taking from us some good moments of suspense.
But even with that little-big problem, the movie was running greatly. Angelina was amazing (both in performance and beauty), Denzel was very good, the killer was very bad (not in bad performance, he had bad behaviour), the final answer to the clues is interesting, the movie had some dramatic parts... But the end is pathetic. Some dramatic moments are good but romance? Romance in a suspense movie named "The Bone Collector"? Super-extra-happy ending? Oh, no. I was really appreciating the movie but I fell tempted, obligated to take out at least 1 point from my rating. So, I'm sorry, its first 90min deserved an 8 but the latest 15, a 4. <><><><><> 7/10
Hilary and Jackie (1998)
"Hilary and Jackie" is impressive, marvellous, striking, perfect. And it's not so hard to know why: it's the real and tragic story of Jacqueline Du Pré, that was the most famous cellist of all the times and had to stop playing because of the sclerosis, that killed her. The movie begins with Hilary and Jackie with about 7, 9 years old. This part is really fun and interesting. After 25 minutes they're already being played by Emily Watson and Rachel Griffiths. We have 5 more minutes and after one scene where Jackie and Hilary talked a lot in the night and slept in the same bed, the screen gets black and the word "Hilary" appears. You don't understand it and even forget but after 1 hour, everything gets black again and appears the word "Jackie". Now, we are back to the bed, almost all the story is told again, explaining many points that were strange. Like: why did Jackie sent her clothes to her mother for cleaning, how could she be so rude if she hadn't written any letter? Then, in the second part, they show that Jackie was in a Spanish hotel and when she asked about a laundry, the servant insulted her. It's so cool, because at the beginning you sometimes think that Jackie is crazy or bad but at this second part, the director, Anand Tucker, explains every single thing.
Well, if the screenplay was already very touching, it got better with the amazing classical songs used in the movie, with the great cast, the sad cinematography, remarkable scenes and some "details".
Yes, single details made a big difference in "Hilary and Jackie". One different camera-move, one song playing in the right moment, something unexpected happening, or just one super-sad-and-touching scene. For example: Jackie is alone in a big black space, there's no sceneries, only she is being illuminated. She starts to play a song and some seconds later, she lets the arch of her cello fall. Then, in slow motion, they show the arch falling, falling, till it beat in the floor making a violent noise. With this and the horrified face of Emily Watson, Anand Tucker represented the moment that Jackie realized that something was wrong with her, and that that thing would affect her carrer. Another example: one orchestra is playing a very beautiful and sad song and at end, Jackie's husband, Daniel Barenboin, the maestro, say: "It's your turn". The camera shows Jackie for the first time in the scene and she's almost paralyzed in a wheel-chair. She beats in a small drum. That's the unique note that she played in the whole concert but all the audience stands up and claps hands to her. This movie is great.
Is it necessary to say that Emily Watson was great too? Well, she was. Emily was amazing, you could look at her and think that she was really playing the cello. She was so good in that movie that I'm now a big fan of her. For me she's the best actress alive. Rachel Griffiths was great too, as all the cast (specially the girls that represented the young Jackie and the young Hilary).
You may think that I'm exaggerating, but in fact, "Hilary and Jackie" is the best I've ever seen. It's unforgettable. It's so unforgettable that I'm doing this comment 6 months after I watched it! I had to think about the comment during 6 months because I didn't know what to write. This movie is so dense and interesting that you can't express yourself in a good way, everything that you write about it is not enough! About Emily and Rachel, I'm not exaggerating again, both were nominated for the Academy Awards. The music? If you watched or will watch the movie, you're going to agree with me.
The best word to define "Hilary and Jackie" is GENIAL
The Story of Us (1999)
Dramatic, funny, realist and GREAT
You can see if you're going to like "The Story Of Us" in its first scene or even before, during the opening credits. If you think that one romantic song playing while the word "us" goes up and down, from one side to the other in the screen is annoying and that the first scene, when Katie (Michelle Pfeiffer) looks direct to the camera, alone, sitting in a sofa, and starts to talk about her wedding as in one documentary, is boring, you possible won't like it. But if you like one or both, as I did, you will for sure love "The Story Of Us".
The film is about one couple, Ben and Katie. They're married for about 15 or 17 years and they can't stand 15 minutes without one fight. As their children are in a Summer Camp, they're going to use that time alone to see if must stay married or divorce. Their situation is so serious that Ben will stay in a hotel while Katie will stay at their house.
Most of the movie are past situations remembered by the couple. And that's the best thing about "The Story Of Us". They're always reminding funny and happy situations but at the present time they just fight and fight. So, you have 10 minutes of romantic-comedy then 10 minutes of drama. And you don't even know what to fell. Should you laugh at the funny things or remember that these funny things are being shown because they're missing them, because nowadays they're just the opposite?
Michelle Pfeiffer and Bruce Willis were great. I still think that watching Bruce in dramatic movies is a bit strange but as I had already seen his good performance in "The Sixth Sense", I'm losing my preconception. And Michelle is perfect (as always) and just like the movie: her face is so delicate, she looks sooooo fragile and nice but in fact her character, Katie, is very nervous and incomprehensible.
So, that's how "The Story Of Us" is: very realist. Don't expect a super-romantic story but a dense and real relationship with fights, screams, shouts and sometimes, kisses. In fact, that's the kind of relationship that we all have! And, to conclude, is "The Story Of Us" a highly recommendable film? Well, it's not a everybody-love-movie as "The Sixth Sense" but I think so. I wouldn't miss it ever. <><><><> 8/10
Joan of Arc (1999)
Good but too slow
The Messenger is very interesting and weird at the same time. I was expecting a very touching and thrilling movie after I saw the amazing trailer. Yes, the movie is very touching and thrilling but it's so, so slow that you almost forget these qualities and instead of enjoying the final scenes, you just want them to end.
I enjoyed the beginning of the movie where they explained France's situation making everything clearer for me and for anyone that don't even know who Joan of Arc is (I'm not saying that I don't). Then there's about 1 hour before Joan start to fight. This part is in general good but weird sometimes. Joan's vision were boring and as I was expecting the great visual effects shown in the trailer (the clouds moving, the plants involving her, etc), I though it was disappointing. I was warned that the battle scenes were very violent, disgusting and horrible, showing headless people and body-parts. Yes, it was really violent but I thought the battles were the best part of movie. At the same time I was excited, happy, confused and impressed with Joan commanding a whole army. And Milla Jojovich did one great Joan of Arc, with her fragile face but doing brave acts.
Then we can watch Joan's tragic end. That was the worst part of the movie. All the characters are bad now (and I was tired, with bad mood). But in that "worst part" is the best thing about "The Messenger": The Conscience! The Conscience is the name given to Dustin Hoffman's character. Interrogating Joan about her visions, the battles, the sword, ..., he make us ask to ourselves: was Joan of Arc a saint, crazy or just a girl that though she was a messenger of God?
Many people might think that I'm crazy but I loved Jojovich's voice too! Her huskies screams while she was commanding the armies and while she was being judged were amazing.
So, "The Messenger" can be a bit slow and boring sometimes but it's a good movie. And, obviously, costing 60 million dollars, it's very beautiful and well-done, with monumental battle scenes, great art-direction and cinematography... But it should be smaller.
Lola rennt (1998)
Innovative and amazing
"Lola rennt" (or Run Lola Run) is one of the best movies I've watched for a long time. But at the same time, I don't mean that it is a masterpiece (because it's not) or it's in my Top 10 list (because it's not). It's amazing but it's very hard to compare it with other movies. Comparing it to other good movies is like comparing ice-cream with pizza.
Well, everything in "Lola Rennt" is good: Franka Potente and all the cast, the story, the way the story is told and, of course, its visual. Watching Lola Rennt is like watching a big modern-art exposition or a big show. Everything is very colored, with different camera views, drawing used as real scenes, clocks, photos, the frenetic style...
But the best in "Lola rennt", is that the story is told three times. No, not like we use to see, the same story being told by three different points of view, or ways. In "Lola rennt", basically, the stories are the same: Lola have to find $ 100000,00 or her boyfriend will be killed so, she runs to her father's bank. These are the points in common. In each one of them, the end is different, what happen to Lola's "father" (you'll understand if you watch the movie) is different, the way Lola get (or not) the money is different, what happen to the people that crossed Lola is different... "Lola rennt" is different! It's different from everything that you've watched in your life. And watching it is a very different (and good) experience.
Work with Me (1999)
Fun, intelligent, realist and... cancelled!?!?!
"Work With Me" was the first comedy-show that attracted me. In fact, I didn't use to like comedies until I tried to watch this show once. And I loved! And I didn't love it without any special reason. "Work With Me" is fun being realist and smart, with situations that can happen in our lives, with characters that think, that are normal, real people!
After watching "Work With Me" I tried to watch other comedy-shows: Friends, The Drew Carrey Show, Will & Grace, The Nanny... Yes, some of them are really fun (Friends), interesting (Will & Grace), silly (Drew Carrey), but they're all unbelievable and unrealist. Almost all the jokes and fun quotes are made by one silly or bad-dressed or ugly or idiot or strange or exaggerated character. People don't think! And why almost all the women are silly? Except in Will & Grace, all these comedies have at least one "not-brained" character.
Look at Phoebe in "Friends": is it possible for an human be so stupid? Look at Mimi in "Drew Carrey Show": does anyone dress like this? Wouldn't you fire one nanny that wants to make love with you? Extra-Terrestrial on Earth (3rd rock from the sun)? And even shows with normal people, as the great "Will & Grace" are full of situations that wouldn't happen in real life.
Am I saying that these unrealist-shows are bad? No, some of them are great too. But "Work With Me" was unique. The situations that happened in the 3 episodes that I saw were fun without being silly. These situations could happen outside the TV.
But the show is not great only because it's realist. It's story is very fun: one husband working at his wife's company! It's dialogues are intelligent and Julie, played by the excellent Nancy Travis, is hilarious (and feminist). I still remember one good example of WWM's realist comedy: in bed, Jordan asks Julie if she has any fantasy with someone. After asking 3 more times she answers: oh, yes, with the delivery boy! Then, the next day at work, they're in the office and Sebastian enters saying: "Julie, the delivery boy is here" and Jordan stay in the same position as he wasn't even worried or anything!
So, if you hadn't the opportunity to watch this great show, I'm really sorry. But what we all want to know is: why do the best shows are always cancelled (Wasteland)?!?!?! Why don't you, Americans, try to watch better shows?!?!?! Why do the TV-stations care only about ratings, not quality?!?!?!
Anna and the King (1999)
Great but could have been better
"Anna and the King" had a very good theme to explore: the real story of Anna Leonowens that moved to the Kingdom of Siam to teach the king's children English and after sometime one "prohibited" relationship is developed between she and the monarch. Reading the premise you imagine a romantic and touching drama. But in the big-screen, only the dramatic part remains. No romance, no tears... A big fault but even without love "Anna and the King" is a really good movie.
Well, in fact, during the first 90 minutes you still think that in the future the relationship between Anna and the king will become serious and, hunmnm, I don't know, hot! They look at each other in a different way, he talks as a friend with Anna in a country where women should always remain in silent, he dances with she (the scene where the King Mongkut dances a waltz with Anna is unforgettable)... And they were getting closer and closer. But after these 90 minutes almost all the attention goes to the attacks and the possible war against the Burmeses. And the film goes in a direction that wasn't expected: the action. Where's the love?
"Anna and the King" has other failures: it's not a slow movie but it's so long that it's impossible not to feel tired at the end; the end is not thrilling or dramatic or romantic, they tried to mix all these 3 qualities instead of developing one; they spent a lot of movie to do epic sceneries but they're almost not shown; they wanted it to be one of the best movies of the year and even being very good, it's very far of it.
But it has a lot of qualities too: the great cast, specially Jodie Foster and Yun-Fat Chow, the songs, the art direction and costume design (but not enough for a epic)... So, is "Anna and the King" one must-watch movie? My answer is not a "yes" or a "no" but: Jodie Foster is in it! At least you won't hate it. I liked. >>>>>> 8/10
Zazie dans le métro (1960)
Fun and intelligent
Since I first heard about "Zazie dans le métro" I wanted to watch it. Seven months ago, a cult-cultural-theatre from Rio de Janeiro re-launched "Zazie" and when I saw the advertisement I just thought: what a fun and strange movie! Look at its name: "Zazie No Metrô" (the same, zazie in the subway)! Look at this little girl, at her face, and the plot! Well, only 3 days ago I finally watched it at a Brazilian cable-tv station, Eurochannel, that shows only European movies and shows. For instance, in Eurochannel I watched all these "critics-loved" and "European-festival-winners" such as Festen, La Double Vie de Veronique, Ma vie en Rose (great film), Entre Tinieblas (Almodovar!), Breaking the Waves, Bent, and a lot, I mean a lot of movies made by François Truffaut: L'Amour in Fuite, Tirez sur le Pianiste, Baisers Volés, Domicile Conjugal, Les Deux Anglaises Et Le Continent, Les 400 Coups, Jules et Jim, La Femme D'À Côté, Le Dernier Métro... just in November! And, I don't know why, they aired 6 Hitchcock's films although they were made in USA. Euro is just great. And seeing that Zazie would be aired at it was great. I thought: If it is in Eurochannel, it must be good...
And "Zazie" is really very good! The beginning is simply hilarious with unforgettable scenes. Zazie running away in Paris while a friend of his uncle try to catch her and then a man that she stoled a jeans is the best of all, showing her laughs, she appearing and then disappearing, like a cartoon. Then she walks in Paris finding even more strange people. But unfortunately, after 1 hour it starts to be quite boring. Zazie stops to do her smart comments while the others characters talk more and more culminating in a crazy fight with all of them in a restaurant. And suddenly, it ends with a memorable quote of Zazie. Watch it to see.
But the biggest surprise was when I realized that the director of "Zazie dans le métro" was Louis Malle and that he had directed the touching "Au revoir les enfants" too, that I watched only 1 month ago. It's fun to see how Louis made such different films: while "Zazie" is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen, "Au revoir les enfants" is one of the sadder. "Au revoir" is dark, gloomy, touching and dramatic (and very beautiful too). So, I wouldn't recommend only "Zazie" but "Au revoir les enfants" too. They're very different but they have one thing in common: they're great.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
Beautiful and fun but...
I really liked Toy Story 2. It is very good, watching it is fun for all ages and it's in my opinion the most beautiful movie ever made by Disney. Everything is very colorful and the toys are so perfect that they look real (although the humans are still strange). And it's not interrupted in each 15 minutes for a nonsense musical play like almost all other Disney's movies do! And the references to Star Wars are hilarious. But even being almost perfect, I can't give TY 2 a 10. I said it was the most beautiful film but not the most touching. I watched the whole movie smiling, laughing sometimes and having fun but it's impossible to fell something, to fell sorry or cry because Woody will go to a Japanese Museum, or because Jessie is living in a dark box. They're toys! And worse, made by computers! It's very hard to enjoy the scenes that should be touching. No, you enjoy those scenes, like them, but not because you're sorry but because everything is majestic, every single detail is perfect. In fact, it's hard to LOVE them.
Here, at IMDb you can see how people are exaggerating. TY2 is great but it's not the 16th best movie of all the times. Of course Toy Story's secret is that it was enjoyable for all ages and almost impossible to hate. Look at me, I really thing it doesn't deserve this but I'm giving it an 8 or 9 and, in fact, I'm helping this siyuation to continue.
Well, it's not so hard to give it a 10 but when I look at my 10-movies I can't even compare them to Toy Story 2. TY will never be better or even similar to movies as Election, Go, Pleasantville, The Sixth Sense, Hilary and Jackie, Valmont, Deconstructing Harry, All about My Mother, Mallrats, Clerks, Shakespeare in Love, Cruel Intentions, Next Stop Wonderland.... God, look at Eyes Wide Shut: a great movie, 10/10 but as it's 'hate-able", received a lot of 1s. And others amazing movies as Dogma are almost out of the Top 250 because of this "exaggeration".
For non-USA viewers, I would recommend to see TY2 with captions not with "voices from your country". This way you'll enjoy a lot more as Disney spends a lot of money in voices, songs and sound effects what may not happen when it's being translated. And it's fun to see some famous voices as Tom Hanks' in Woody. So, enjoy TY2, love it but don't expect one of the best movies of the history.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
One of the best movies ever made. Masterpiece.
I wouldn't say that "Eyes Wide Shut" is perfect but it is at least 99,9% perfect. First of all, if you want to enjoy it, relax and try not to compare it to other Kubrick's movies because each one of them are completely different from others. I heard so many people saying that EWS was great but as it was from Kubrick, they're expecting more. I think it's unfair. Well, writing about EWS isn't easy because it deserves some reflection after watching. For me it's even harder as I'm not writing in my natural language but in English so, the only way I found to do this review was to comment each point of the movie particularly.
The director: Stanley Kubrick is great. In fact EWS was my first Stanley's movie and that's another reason for me to wait sometime before writing this review. I wanted to rent other Kubrick's movie to see if he was really the genius that all the magazines and newspapers were saying. I rented "A Clockwork Orange" and he's in fact, one of the best directors of the cinema history. And if you look at his filmography you can see how amazing he is. Some dramas as EWS, a science fiction (2001 - A Space Odyssey), a suspense-horror (The Shining), a war movie... And most of them are known as their category's best. Kubrick knew how to make us pay attention in the movie, stay tuned every minute, enjoy each scene. The 3 hours of EWS passed so fast for me and I wanted more and more. Kubrick is really a genius.
The cast: the entire cast was great. Tom Cruise is for sure a good actor and Nicole Kidman finally used all her talent. Some people said that Nicole was not a good choice because she had always worked in bad movies but most of the actors and actresses don't start acting directly in good movies. There's always a first time. And Nicole is very excellent. One good surprise is the young Leelee Sobieski. Even appearing less than 3 minutes in the whole movie, she was amazing. She didn't need to say one word, looking at her face you knew what she was doing, thinking, that she was enjoying being used by her father... (Today, she had been nominated in the Golden Globes for her great performance in "Joan of Arc")
The soundtrack: I can't imagine different songs in Eye Wide Shut. They've used the best. Who is able to forget the amazing "Musica Ricercata", that played during the end of the "climax scene", the orgy? And the romantic "When I Fall In Love"? EWS's should win next year's Academy Awards (today, it had been nominated for the Golden Globes!).
The cinematography, art-direction, costume design and set decoration: great too! The clothes, sceneries, furniture, and the cinematography of EWS are just great. And they got even better mixed with the music. The best example is the famous orgy scene again: the music is tense and strong, the clothes (not very much, but there are) and masks are strange and mysterious, almost all the furniture, walls and clothes were yellow or black. Even the voices were strange! Perfect. The orgy scene will be forever in the cinema history. Polemical and provocative.
The screenplay: the complex screenplay is the movie and each person has a different view about what Kubrick wanted to say and about the symbolism that is in EWS. What Stanley really wanted to say? What were his intentions? There are many different opinions and I'm not sure if mine is the best. In fact, there isn't one best interpretation. What I know for sure is that EWS is a amazing movie, from the best director of the world and not watching it is a sin. FOR SURE.
And surely, 10/10
The funniest movie I've ever seen (until next week)
A time ago, when I was 13, I used to love malls just as Brodie do in this movie. I wanted to do everything at the mall. Watch a new movie? In the mall theatres. Buy a new clothe? In the mall. Eat something? In the mall. One day I was reading my TV guide when I saw a movie called "Barred in The Mall", Mallrats' Brazilian name (note: the Brazilian name for "Beverly Hills, 90210" was "Barred in The Prom"!). Obviously, I wanted to watch but, I don't know why, I didn't.
One year after it all my sisters started to talk about one movie named "Chasing Amy": "Chasing Amy is the funniest movie of the world", "great movie", "there's a lesbian","Ben Affleck is hot"... Everywhere I went there was somebody talking about this movie. And I was really interest about it because the plot is really great. I wanted to watch it but, I don't know why, I didn't.
Some months ago I was reading a magazine and there was a report about the polemic "Dogma"." What a great movie", I thought. "I must watch it". So, somehow, I have no idea, I connected Dogma with Chasing Amy and I discovered that the director and writer of both was Kevin Smith. Some months after it, I was still thinking about Dogma (you know, they're trying to cancel it here and I was very angry. They said that Alanis Morissette is a "pop singer that sings naked in her shows") and reading the TV guide I found "Barred in the Mall"! And somehow I discovered that it was from Kevin Smith. I was happy but in fact I hadn't watched any Kevin's movie yet. That would be the test.
The result is that Mallrats is a great movie. It's very very funny, different, independent, strange, everything! The cast is superb (specially Jeremy London, Shannen Doherty, Jason Mewes and Claire Forlani) and each new scene is better. At the end, the only thing you can do is laugh more and more (and with that end, it's impossible not to laugh). And the screenplay is for sure the best thing in "Mallrats" and you can see it looking at the memorable quotes. The scene where a TV-show is being made in the mall is the unforgettable. And Jay is the funniest character of the movie (and he's in Dogma, Chasing Amy and Clerks too!).
Other fun thing is that many character from "Mallrats" are in other Kevin's movies and many actors and actresses are too but playing different characters!
So, why is Mallrats the funniest movie I've ever seen only until next week? Well, because when I was talking to one friend he said: "Mallrats? It's very good but Chasing Amy is better. And have you ever watched Clerks? I think it's Kevin's best." So I went to IMDb and "Mallrats" is the worst rated movie from Kevin! I can't wait. In the next weekend, I'm going to rent both. And in January 14th maybe everything will change again. Dogma will be released in Brazil!
In summary, using only 6 millions dollars Kevin did the funniest movie I've seen. That proves that the most important is the screenplay, not expensive sceneries. Kevin Smith is a genius.
Time of Your Life (1999)
Very good but Sarah should shut up sometimes
As a fan of "Party Of Five", I had to watch "Time Of Your Life" more as an obligation than for pleasure. "T of Y L" is for sure a hundred times worse than "Party of Five" and sometimes it's unbelievable and strange. And the problem is Sarah, Jennifer's character. She was almost married with Bailey, was dating him for years, lived in his house and then, in her second day in NY she decided to stay there!
Well, let's look at the beginning: Sarah was living with Bailey and decided to make a trip to New York to find her father. She would come back in five days. In the first night in NY she lost her baggage and money and found her mother's house. In the same night she was already living there. The next day she found a job in the bar, met 2 persons that could be her father, and one of the two was a very rich man. One night after it, she went to jail for not paying to the subway, and this rich man paid the surety and more than this, found her a very good job. Less than two days after it, she resigned the job because she was is NY for fun (poor Bailey)! No problem, she's will work in the bar (her 1st job, remember?). It's strange that they didn't put other person to work there, as she was already working in the job found by the rich man. Then, in the night, she just fight and scream with the rich man that was helping her a lot. Oh, and only after all those things she decided to phone Bailey! There is only one thing I know about Sarah: she's the most SELFISH person in the world. What a boring girl! And what a fast girl!
But Sarah is not the unique character there, although she appears during 90% of the time. And all these things doesn't mean that Time Of Your Life is bad and don't even mean that Sarah is bad. All the others are convincing and their stories are too much better. It's just ridiculous to give an entire TV-series for Jennifer Love Hewitt. She's cool, nice, fun but not famous (and talented) enough to have her own.
Notting Hill (1999)
Why is Notting Hill so special?
If you ask me why I've given 10 for Notting Hill I'll not be able explain. Is Notting Hill a masterpiece? No, for sure no. Is Notting Hill genial? No. Is Notting Hill a different style of romantic-comedy? No. New style? No. But even thinking that Notting Hill is only another romantic-comedy, I've given it a 10. And there are some movies that I've given 9 that are better than Notting Hill...!
Well, I think that the "problem" is that you don't see anything bad in it, it's very hard to find something that could make you give a lower rate to this movie. First of all, the cast is great. Julia Roberts is in her best performance, Hugh Grant is very nice and Emma Chambers and Rhys Ifans are VERY funny. The screenplay is good too, and romantic (I love romance). But in fact, I think that the "problem" is that Notting Hill is English! Before watching it, I was thinking: "My God! Another American romantic-comedy with Julia Roberts. I've already watched My Best Friend Wedding and I don't want to watch the same style of story again and again". But when I discovered that NH is an English movie I started to think about it in a different way. I love English movies! But that's unfair. No, that's not the "problem" too.
In fact, what I think is that Notting Hill is one fun, relaxing and beauty movie that you watch and stop thinking about your problems. While you're watching it you forget everything and pay attention only in the story. You know, it's very hard to happen in movies nowadays, make the spectator pay attention. When the movie ends, you want to give it a 10, it's like magic. In summary, NH is the kind of movie which you say: Watch it and have fun!
The X Files (1998)
This year's best sci-fi movie
That would be great if I could say that X Files is the best sci-fi movie ever done but at the same time that would be unfair to Stanley Kubrick and his 2001 a Space Odyssey... But I'm sure it's this year's best.
First of all, I need to say that I am not even a fan of the TV-series "X-Files". I've only watched enough episodes (2??) to know who is Scully, who is Mulder and... Only this! But I loved the movie and I think that even who hadn't watched any episode is able to. The screenplay is perfect and Duchovny's and Gillian's performances were incredible (Gillian was even better in Playing by Heart, a good movie too). Well, at least for me, that watch the TV-series without the original sound, they were looking great. The special effects were good too and sometimes it has some suspense. The truth is that there's a bit of everything here.
Who's a fan of sci-fi will love it, I'm sure. I hate sci-fi and I loved! The only thing I know is that I'll start to watch the TV-series every week and, who knows, become a X-manic? 8/10
The Truman Show (1998)
Jim Carrey in a drama! And it's good!
The Truman Show is one of my favorite movies. Before watching it I wasn't very excited even expecting a great film. In fact, I decided to watch it when I realized that all magazines were saying it was incredible, beautiful, touching, ... And I really found it!
I thought the movie was more comedy than drama. It's a multi-genre movie, it's very hard to tell. I loved the scenes where they showed how Truman's life could be (and were) controlled. One spotlight falling from the sky, all the days were sunny, the same people doing the same thing every day, and the most amazing, when Christof (Ed Harris), trying to find Truman, makes the sun rise in 2 seconds at midnight.
I have to say that I was a bit afraid of Jim Carrey. How can a movie with Jim Carrey as the main character be a drama or even be good? But this time his grimaces didn't affect the movie.
As nothing is perfect in the world, there are some small "problems" in The Truman Show. I think the theme could be more explored by the director Peter Weir. The end, that some people said was revolting, didn't look so strange to me but I agree that they should have shown what happened to Truman after his decision. OK, Truman is free. And after it?
In summary, you must see this movie. It's almost perfect. 9/10
What Dreams May Come (1998)
Horrible, horrible and horrible. That's the best adjective I've found for What dreams may come. Robin Williams plays again and as ever one good, honest and pure man(and he'll do it again in Jakob the liar... God! I'm tired). After his death, his wife suicides and now he has to go to the hell to catch her.
First of all, the movie looks like a Mexican soap opera. Everybody dies in the family: the children, the husband and the wife. The sceneries, visual effects and the art direction are too exaggerated, everything is so colorful that you want to vomit. When Robin is in the heaven, he looks like a child. The scenes "on heart" are too small and the hell is ridiculous, with fire, bones and skulls everywhere. And both hell and heaven are full of people flying! It's pathetic.
After sleeping two hours, finally it ends... OK, I'll admit, the end is obvious but very beautiful and touching. It saves all the movie from disgrace. But it's not enough. I wouldn't recommend it for my worst enemy.
Disturbing Behavior (1998)
Kate Holmes saved this movie from disgrace
I wasn't expecting very much about this movie. The story didn't attract me and seemed very boring. But I found it worse than my expectations. This movie is horrible.
First of all, the screenplay is very bad. All the cast are in their worst performance and the soundtrack is bad too. Everything is bad! They tried to do one movie that should cost at least 40 million dollars spending 15 million! You can see it in the scene where they try to transform Steve (James Marsden) and Rachel (Katie Holmes) in Blue Ribbons. Only Universal Soldier can be as ridiculous as this scene. And they should had explored the story of Steve's family before moving to Cradle Bay, specially the suicide of Adam (played by Ethan Embry. He's nice and could appear a bit more).
In fact their idea was a bit interesting. A story about one guy that moved to a small city were a lot of teenagers are 'perfect'. They get good marks, help old people, don't have any vice or bad habit (smoking, drinking)... These people are the Blue Ribbons. But this perfection was suspicious for Gavin and then for Rachel and Steve. So they try to discover what's really happening.
Katie Holmes is not in a good performance too but she has charism (and beauty), what made me enjoy a little the movie while she was in the screen. Her great acting in Go and Dawson's Creek compensates this disaster.
3 out of 10. It would be 1 without Kate.
A brilliant idea, a marvelous movie
Pleasantville is one unforgettable fable about one boy, David, and his sister, Jennifer, that entered in one TV-series of the 50's where everything is happy and beautiful. There, the basketball team of the city always wins, the only work that the fireman have to do is to take cats out of trees, there isn't sex... Everything is pleasant in Pleasantville! But everything was also black and white.
David should act now as Bud Parker and his sister as Mary Sue Parker. For David, a fan of this sitcom, everything was OK but for Jennifer, one popular girl, being in one place so calm was very boring. David tried to keep Jennifer doing everything as in the sitcom but she didn't want. So she started a revolution in the city. In each demonstration or discovery of a new felling, the person would get colored.
As Gary Ross said, this movie is about people that can't behave, act or adapt with their own changes. "It's about people that want to stay in black and white and people that wish the color." It's about people that want changes and more than this, people that do something for that changes to happen and be real.
The sexual theme is very explored by Gary. One of the first changes for color happens when Jennifer shows her boyfriend that there are a lot of different (and more interesting) things to do in the car than only hold her hand. Then, she shows her mother Betty (played by Joan Allen, great as ever) how to masturbate. When Betty try to practice it, the tree in the front of the house explodes and burns. This scene is very funny as the fireman had never seen one fire before and he didn't know how to act in the situation.
For me, one of the best scenes is when Joan Allen doesn't want to stay in color and asks Bud to make her up using gray lipstick, powder, you know, gray make up. But why did she want it? Because after more than 90 minutes as a comedy and romance, Pleasantville turns a choking drama. Many people (as me) that read only a few comments about it might be surprised with its end. A enormous revolution happens with blood, fights, fire, protests, stoning and discrimination against coloreds. I loved its end. In fact, I didn't like a single detail of it but even so it's not so important. How can someone dislike one so happy end with the music Across the Universe playing in the back?
Well, what I know is that Pleasantville is a small masterpiece that will be forever in my mind and in my heart too.
** I have to say that the Academy Awards had been unfair with Pleasantville. It deserved at least 6 nominations. And Joan Allen was better than all the nominated supporting actresses.