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Normal and boring
I just don't quite "get" this film, nor do I see where all the positive reviews came from. I decided to check out this film because I like Clea DuVall's work (The Faculty, Identity, and Girl, Interrupted) and the premise sounded kind of interesting. Alan Arkin gives a good performance, but he can't save this film. The film is comprised of vignettes focus on four basic groups of characters: lawyers, office workers, cleaning ladies, and College professors and students. But almost nothing exciting or remarkable happens in this film, nothing that really made me wonder what would happen next or how this film would turn out. All I wanted was for this film to finally end, but I fell asleep before then and had to use the scene selection. Overall, this was a pretty dull viewing experience.
Fever Pitch (2005)
I'm generally not a big fan of romantic comedies, because they tend to focus more on the romantic than the comedy, but this was a good one. Jimmy Fallon plays Ben, a school teacher and Drew Barrymore plays Lindsey, his love interest and an accountant. They meet cute and everything seems to be going great until there's a stumbling block, Ben's obsession with the Boston Red Sox. Especially nice is the first date where Ben comes to Lindsey's place, only to find she's very sick, suffering from food poisoning. He comes in anyway, and minutes later, he's cleaning up her vomit in the bathroom, brushing the dog's teeth(I didn't quite get that), helping her change into her nightgown(says he won't look but he does), and even sleeps on her couch--on the FIRST date! How sweet is that? Overall pretty satisfying, but the credit start rolling and I see directed by Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly? That was a real surprise since I loathe their work (except for Me, Myself, and Irene). This was nothing like a Farrelly brothers movie! No gross-out or immature Jokes!
Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
Nothing about his movie stands out as really positive or negative. It's really a pretty light run-of-the-mill drama. The whole young adult child seeks freedom to go against old-fashioned traditional values of family plot has been done plenty of times before, and quite frankly has been done better. In this case, the story centers around Jess(Parminder Nagra), an Indian girl living in England who dreams of playing soccer professionally. Her parents however, won't have it, wanting her to marry an Indian boy and learn how to cook. Really no surprises in the plot, this movie is average in every way. The one thing that raises my rating to a six is the well-filmed soccer scenes and a few funny moments. For instance, the mother of Jules(Kiera Knightley) trying to deter her daughter from playing soccer: "There's a reason why Sporty Spice is the only one without a man."
I Saw What You Did (1965)
Here's the plot: A teenage girl with her friend and younger sister(Andi Garett, Sara Lane, and Sharyl Locke) are left home alone one night by their parents, after the babysitter cancels. To amuse themselves, the decide to make prank phone calls(this was in 1965, long before caller ID or tracing existed) one phrase they use quite often to the people they call is "I saw what you did...and I know who you are." What they don't know is that one of the people they call, Steve Marek (John Ireland) takes them seriously, having just stabbed his wife to death!
This film was really scary or at least very suspenseful, considering the time period. I was pretty much on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen next. There are a few things that bring this film down, chief among them most inappropriate score I think I've ever heard. It was just corny. The acting in the initial scene between the two teen girls is bad, but gets better. This film comes highly recommended. 7/10
Should be a summer movie
This movie's basically about a musclebound mutant from Hell and his work with a secretive paranormal research branch of the government. He goes out destroying these huge tentacled creatures (and their eggs) from another dimension that look like a cross between giant octopuses and the Ridley Scott's Alien. Meanwhile, Rasputin(!) has been resurrected and he has his own plans for Hellboy and the powers Hellboy's freakishly large right fist possesses. There's also a romantic subplot between Hellboy and Liz (Selma Blair), a firestarter who unleashes a blaze when someone hurts her (think Carrie). The previews for this movie make it look like a summer movie, and that's what it should be. Those of you who are familiar with how the movie business works with strategic release dates and all realize that huge action movies that are 60% special effects are released during the summer for teenagers and the MTV generation who really don't know any better. This is more of the same. I'm 25, and the special effects seemed over done, even to me. There were a few funny moments in this film, but the film overall wasn't much better than I expected. That being said, Ron Perlman gives a really good performance as Hellboy, much better than other "actors" who commonly get these action movie roles(this means you Vin Diesel). A lot of the reviews are more positive than mine, but I left this movie feeling kind of indifferent as to its quality. I'll say it's pretty average, I'll give it 5/10.
Real Women Have Curves (2002)
touching, warm, and feel-good
I caught this movie on HBO last night and was pleased with it. I went in with no preconceived notions, although I had heard about it. There's nothing really outstanding about this movie, but for some reason I really liked it. I guess it's good all-around with just the right amount of humor and drama.
The film is about a full-figured Mexican-American girl named Ana(America Ferrera), who has just graduated from high school. She lives with her mother, father, grandfather, sister, and two cousins. Ana and her favorite teacher(George Lopez) want her to go on to college, especially after she gets accepted to the University of Columbia(NY). Her parents, especially her mother, are greatly opposed to this idea, partly because the family lives in California, but mostly because they have other plans for Ana. They want Ana to work in the dress-making factory like her mother and sister, and find a husband, as is the plot in a lot of other "rebellious youngster vs. traditional parents" movies. Ana does start to work there, only because the seamstresses have fallen behind and need help. She intends to stay only until everyone gets caught up.
There is a sub-plot about Ana's romance with Jimmy (Brian Sites the only non-Hispanic cast member), one of her former classmates, that feature some of the sweetest scenes in the film (I'd hoped for some kind of reunion between the two). There's not a whole lot of humor in the film, but the funniest part of the film (also where the title comes from) is when Ana and the other employees at the factory(except for her mother, horrified at the spectacle) strip down to their underwear to compare cellulite and stretch marks! I was surprised to see George Lopez with a supporting role in a small film such as this as he now is the star of his own sitcom in the US.
Overall, this is a very feel-good movie and worth one's time! 8/10
Lat sau san taam (1992)
Was I wrong to expect a plot?
This movie was a real disappointment. My brother is a fan of cult movies, and I decided to watch because I like John Woo. Sure, there was plenty of action, but the film was devoid of anything else. It was just two hours of blood and gunplay. That wasn't the only thing wrong with this movie. Although this was more the fault of the DVD maker, some of the subtitles(English) disappeared too fast for me to read them! The action was also very repetitious. Where's the plot? At least other Woo films like Face/Off and Mission: Impossible 2 had somewhat unique plots, especially Face/Off. This one was just a two hour exhibition of people firing handguns at each other. Another thing wrong with this film were the sound effects. The sound was very low quality and unrealistic. I watched the Usual Suspects about 50 minutes after this film and was amazed at how much better the gunfire sounded in that film compared to this one. I can't really think of anyone to recommend this movie to. 3/10
Resident Evil (2002)
I've seen worse movies than this, but not too many. This is probably the worst video-game movie I have seen(though I haven't seen very many). The acting is really bad, the "action" is slow and there's a lot of mindless violence.
SPOILER ALERT The only good thing about the film, Michelle Rodriguez, Rain, ends up dying about 3/4 of the way through the film, and it just gets worse from there. Even the very end of the film seemed kind of...unsatisfying. The virus has reached the surface, apparently everyone's a zombie. The only non-zombie around, Alice, terribly played by Milla Jovovich (sp?) cocks a rifle-- roll credits. END SPOILER
I know I haven't made reference to my title yet. I see they are making a SEQUEL to this piece of trash. Did it really do so well as the box office that they feel it necessary to hurt us again? What did we ever do to them? When the sequel, Resident Evil: Apocalypse comes out in 2004, I'd only see it if someone paid me.
Best action movie I've seen in years!
This is one excellent action movie! The only action movie I've seen in recent memory as good as this is the more plot-driven The Bourne Identity. As for the plot of XXX, I'm not sure I could accurately explain it, but in movies of this type the plot is usually secondary. There are a whole lot of explosions, gunplay, Bondian gadgets(band-aids wired with explosives), and high-tech weaponry. Much of the movie is set in the Czech Republic. The best scene is one in which Xander Cage(Vin Diesel) tosses a couple of explosives over his shoulder in a very snowy mountain range, deliberately causing an avalanche to thwart the villains chasing him while he snowboards away. I was just captivated!
However, no movie is without problems. For one thing I didn't see The Fast and the Furious, but based on this picture, Diesel can't act at all, it was just painfully bad. The dialogue was also awfully corny. Even the usually clever one-liners (often uttered after defeating a villain) fell flat.
The two above minor flaws are what lowers this movie from a 10 to a 9. Keep an eye out for brief appearances by rapper Eve, skateboarder Tony Hawk, and German techno/heavy metal group Rammstien, who contribute a song to the typical high-octane action-movie soundtrack. If you love action movies(and don't mind bad acting), you MUST see this one.
The movie eXistenZ is about a futuristic video game on a "pod" system that is almost like virtual reality. The only copy of the video game is damaged when an assassination attempt is made on the designer (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Unless it can be repaired, the many years and 38 million dollars spent on the development will all go to waste. The only way to repair the game however, is to actually go in the game with the only person she feels she can trust(Jude Law). This movie was pretty good, but doesn't really pick up until very late in the film. The best thing about this film were the twists toward the end. Definitely worth seeing. 7/10
Kevin Spacey gives another great performance as Prot, who seems to be an alien from the planet of K-PAX, light years from Earth. His demeanor is always very calm and he gives very logical answers to the questions posed by his psychiatrist, played by Jeff Bridges. He loves the Earth's fruit! Another example of Spacey's acting ability is shown during several scenes when he is put under hypnosis. But the one thing that stood out about this film was the imaginative script. I don't know how the author of the book on which this movie came up with such an imaginative concept, and almost made it seem possible that Prot actually IS from another planet. This movie is worth a watch, especially for fans of fantasy.
Remember the Titans (2000)
Remember the Titans is an outstanding film. It is so much more than just a "football movie." It is a great portrait of 1971 Virginia, and the first desegregated school football team, at that time the only one in the state. Furthermore, the program is being taken over by a black coach(Denzel Washington) after the forced exit of a legendary white coach (Will Patton). The racial tensions of the film are excellently portrayed in a very real way. After their initial mistrust and hostility, the players' realizations that they are a team and not that different after all is really riveting to watch, Each of the prominent players has a distinct personality and is portrayed very well. I can't say how great this film is for everybody, not just football fans. I think this film deserves to at least be nominated for a best picture Academy Award, and possibly best adapted screenplay as well. I give it a 10 out of 10.
Seven Girlfriends (1999)
Tim Daly is very good in his role as a man who can't seem to make a relationship last. En route to the funeral of his ex-girlfriend, who was once his fiancée, he talks with each of his girlfriends to discover why the relationships didn't last. There are some really inspired bits in this film, particularly at his lesbian ex's party and one reason his high-school sweetheart gives for breaking up: His voice is too high when he sings along with the radio(we hear evidence in the film). He responds: "It's harmony!" The one thing I liked about this film more than anything was the ending. Some movies I've seen kind of left me empty or had a really unresolved ending. But not this film. I'm not going to give away too much, but just say it really left me satisfied. I highly recommend this film, to anyone who wants a simple romantic comedy.
The Hurricane (1999)
Worthy of its Oscar nominations!
The Hurricane really is a excellent film. It has an excellent cast, including Denzel Washington, Vicellous Reon Shannon, Deborah Unger, John Hannah, and Liev Schrieber. This movie wasn't very funny, nor was it action-packed. It was just the way a really good Oscar worthy film should be. What it had was a great story, and the actors did a wonderful job, especially Shannon (you may remember his role as Cornelius in the short-lived Dangerous Minds TV series). A lot of films I've seen quite a few film recently that were oscar-nominated or classics that everybody said were great, and they didn't live up to my expectations. But this one didn't. I was captivated by the great story and all the Hurricane went through. The fact it was real just made it even more remarkable. I recommend this film.
Jerry Maguire (1996)
I just saw Jerry Maguire for the first time a little while ago. It really is a feel-good movie. The cast is first rate. Tom Cruise is good, but supporting players Renee Zellweger, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Regina King really shine! This movie was worthy of more Oscars than it won. Speaking of the Oscars, Gooding's performance in this film was even more exuberant than his acceptance speech! This movie is also loaded with catch phrases "You complete me." "You had me from hello." and of course "Show me the money!" Zellweger and Cruise make an excellent couple, and the viewer really wants them to stay together. Once again, if you need a lift, or just want to really feel good this is the movie for you!
Let me tell you, Dogma is one of the better comedies I've seen in the past few years, with an all-star cast and loads of jokes and one-liners. The cast includes Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino (Men in Black) Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, Alan Rickman (Die Hard), George Carlin, Alanis Morissette, Jeanene Garofalo (The Truth About Cats and Dogs), and of course, Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith as the always-present, incomparable duo of Jay and Silent Bob.
The plot is this: Two angels, banished from Heaven, find a loophole that will allow them to get back into Heaven. By getting back into Heaven, they will prove that God is not infallible, consequently bringing about the end of existence.
Despite the somewhat heavy and serious subject matter, this is a comedy (as the disclaimer states, "even God has a sense of humor"). Be warned, don't see this movie just for Alanis Morissette. Despite the fact she plays God, she gets about 5 minutes of screen time and speaks even less then Silent Bob! See this movie because it is a truly funny comedy film that doesn't take itself seriously, thanks in large part to the prophets (Jay and Silent Bob) and the 13th Apostle, Rufus (Chris Rock). The subject matter and negative reviews deterred me from seeing this movie in theaters, but I am so glad I saw it on video. This film is far better than the other Kevin Smith film I've seen, Clerks. Once more, if you want to have a lot of laughs, this is one you must see. 8 out of 10 stars