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Days of Heaven 1978 Terrence Malick
Goodfellas 1990 Martin Scorsese
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner 1967 Stanley Kramer
The Paper Chase 1973 James Bridges
My Best Friend's Wedding 1997 P.J.Hogan
The Killing 1956 Stanley Kubrik
The Third Man 1949 Carol Reed
The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938 Michael Curtiz
The Year of Living Dangerously 1982 Peter Weir
Remake of classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington doesn't get MY vote!
I stumbled across this movie on the late, late show and recognized Laughlin and wondered if this might be one of those "Billy Jack" movies I'd heard about but had never seen. It didn't take me long to realize the movie I was watching was a remake of the classic Mr.Smith Goes to Washington as it follows the scene structure pretty closely. Horrible movie. Laughlin was so wooden in the film that I was shocked that he had enough popularity to HAVE this role. His wife, Delores Taylor, ironcially enough, vaguely resembles original leading lady Jean Arthur; only Ms. Taylor comes across more as the rural Appalachian no makeup, kinda scrawny, coal miner's wife version. It's very weird folks. It's like these two kidnapped the real stars of the movie and jumped into their roles. Veteran actor Pat O'Brien still brings a twinkle to his eye and was about the only twinkle this movie had to offer. Ironically it was a very young Lucie Arnaz (25ish) in a small role that provided an aesthetic link to the original role with her moxie fueled approach to her characterization that at least enlivened the screen occasionally from the wooden, deadpan approach NO LAUGH LAUGHLIN served up. Is there ANYTHING worth viewing? Well it has some nice shots of Washington DC National Mall with all its famous memorials and you know it's got that 1977 "look" so you can see what the cool cats were wearing. So it does have some kitsch to check out the bell bottom pants, etc. Do yourself a favor and just see the original which STILL holds up decades later!
American Ultra (2015)
Great Trailer - Lousy Movie
Saw the coming attraction trailer for this movie and thought it very hip: Great job marketing dept! Unfortunately, the movie can't find the right tone so it just switches back and forth between indie drama, stoner comedy, action flick.
But there's no cohesiveness to it at all. I cannot emphasize enough how it feels like three separate movies you're watching that were somehow edited together.
It's a shame too because our leads, Eisenberg and Stewart are fine and it was interesting to watch them together.
REALLY don't mean to be condescending to our younger viewing audience, but I think this will be a 15 year old's idea of a "really cool" movie because of the disparate elements.
Again, Eisenberg/Stewart great: Plot stupid.
And OMG how many times does a movie need to use the F word? I mean do these writers or producers or whoever injects this crap into movies have NO other word available to them? I mean, look at the late 60s Bonnie & Clyde? Did they even need to use the word once? And I'll argue it's a classic about crime, the American dream gone astray, whole bunch of adult themes and gee wizz it managed to convey all this without using the F bomb every other minute.
I wonder how they managed....hmmmm...maybe they need to look up another word: CLASS.
Due Date (2010)
Give DUE DATE its due...
Just saw this film with my 16 year old son & I must say, I laughed constantly throughout the movie. Something I haven't done in quite a long time. Yes there is vulgar language throughout, but at least they gave it an R rating then so you know going into the movie that it's NOT FOR YOUNG CHILDREN! I haven't seen The Hangover yet (directed by the same director, Todd Phillips) so maybe I'll give it a try. Anyway this movie is a road movie that really works. Has anyone seen the recent Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey? I thought Downey was HORRIBLE in that movie...so over top and hammy with his performance. Well in this movie, he does a complete 180 and is the picture of restraint as his character tries to control his spiraling rage at Zach Galifianakis' character. Galfianakis is perfect as the poor mope who has the ability to get under a person's skin & annoy the hell out of them & yet, immediately cause the person to feel guilty after you've inevitably just finished screaming at the mope for being such an annoying pain in the ass! Yes, there are a couple of scenes that are a little hard to believe...Like getting away from the police after being chased down the highway in a pickup truck...Sorry in real life, they'd be in jail. But it's not a major issue, so you say, so what to yourself and move on. More troubling is a very vulgar, tasteless and totally unnecessary scene when Galifianakis starts masturbating in the car just before the two characters are going to sleep. It's unbelievable to the point of being extremely weird...where you start to wonder about the writer/director of the movie...kind of weird. It's scenes like these that give Hollywood it's deservedly at times, lousy reputation. It's like they're just gonna put something in the movie for it's shock/gross out factor regardless of how stupid & inappropriate it is to the film. That being said, thankfully the scene doesn't last too long! The performances by Downey & Galifianakis are top notch as well as cameo appearances by Juliette Lewis as a pot dealer & Jamie Foxx as buddy of Downey's character. Definitely a fun movie for older teens(16 & above)& adults to enjoy!
Shutter Island (2010)
Grade C flick straight out of the M. Night Shyamalan school of film-making
Big disappointment here folks. The movie relies too much on atmosphere and stretches 90 minutes of plot over 2 1/2 hours of film.
The film would most definitely have benefited from trimming its running time to 90 minutes. Seriously.
Sure DiCaprio is great as ever, but there's just not enough in this movie to sink your teeth into.
And it's TOTALLY an M. Night Shyamalan ripoff. Which isn't a compliment by any means! Don't get mislead by some of the other reviewers who try to compare this movie's slowness to say, Hitchcock's Vertigo. Sorry, but no way is the comparison even close! Don't waste your money on this one folks...even if you're a die hard DiCaprio fan.
Get the DVD out of your local library for free instead.
And by the way, I'm a huge Scorsese fan so you know I'm totally disappointed.
The Affair (1973)
Boring Boring Boring
While it was a treat to see a rare Natalie Wood flick and one costarring her husband Robert Wagner, unfortunately it was a big dud.
First of all, it's like the director told the actors to wait 5 seconds before responding, so the pauses are interminable.
Second of all, Natalie Wood's character makes no sense whatsoever.
I can understand her character being a bit shy because of her polio, yet on the other hand, her character is written as someone who is well off, and has a famous career as a song writer. So it's not like she's been in a shell, shay we say all her life.
So yes, while I can understand her Polio being a difficulty starting a relationship with Wagner, it doesn't really explain why she's so reluctant to share Wagner's life.
Example, Wagner takes her to a social event at a school because Wagner's best friend is married with kids. So Wood stands there amidst all the parents and is a total bitch basically. When a woman innocently comes up and introduces herself as a mother of a 4th grader let's say, Wood rudely says she's not a parent but tennis instructor, while standing with her arm crutches of course. Then Wood whines to Wagner and asks what she's doing there and he says naturally enough that she's there because HE invited her. Wood acts like he's committed some unfeeling act. IT's really stupid. Wagner's character is rightly put off.
Later, when Wagner get an invitation in the mail, Wood declines to go before she even knows what the invitation is to! Wagner explains it's a wedding invite yet Wood still refuses to go.
Later on in the movie, when Wood, obviously trying to appease Wagner suggest she invites some friends over. Wagner simply says what friends? I don't blame the guy. She's shut herself off from his life then wonders why he can't handle her.
Wagner's character at the end tells her that they've locked everyone out of their world and that he can't breathe. Who could blame him? Then of course, Wood's character begs for him not to leave.
It's a stupid movie that I couldn't finish, but damn if it wasn't great seeing Wood & Wagner together.
Venus In Furs is all camp parading as something more
I happened to catch this movie recently on TCM (unedited).
Let's cut to the chase folks, it's a bad movie. There's just no getting around it.
It's also high camp. Sooooo, my gut says, that a bunch of friends, with plenty of booze at the ready would have a hoot watching this late 60's flick.
There's hardly any real dialog in the movie; it's mostly narration by James Darren (the male lead in the film).
Why Kluas Kinski even bothered to appear in this movie is beyond me since his role is minuscule. I suspect it was a paycheck & the opportunity to work with undressed ladies.
The movie has lots of scenes that are bathed in day-glo colors, lots of female skin and scenes that just won't end.
But it is true to it's kitschy self, complete with its supposed shocker ending.
Again, if you love kitsch & that whole late 60's early 70's drug/sex LSD trip kind of vibe, you'll probably get a good laugh of this really bad movie.
The First Time (1969)
Don't waste your time
Well I won't waste anyone's time repeating the plot since it's been mentioned in most of the other reviews.
It's true that the best thing about this movie is some of the great location shots of the Niagra Falls area.
Other than that, this is a pretty lame movie.
I THINK if you thought of it as an afternoon school special, it might pass, I guess.
The vibe of this movie is sort of Disney trying to do the hip 60s thing throwing in Jacqueline Bisset.
It's really funny because every time the camera is on Bisset, the whole feel of the movie changes. It's like she's in another movie. She's so timeless in a way.
Unfortunately most of the movie's time is spent on the three "cute" teenage boyz who are straight out of Disney casting.
Imagine if you will, you took three surfer type dudes from all those Beach Blanket Bingo movies and made them the stars of the flick and threw in Jacqueline Bisset for good measure.
Honestly, I can't figure out WHAT Ms. Bisset was thinking by appearing in this movie.
For her part, she's just fine and seems very modern, while the three teen dudes are so stuck by in time it's scary.
I watched this movie because it was on TCM and the description of the movie sounded fun. Unfortunately, it's about as daring a movie as having butterscotch on your ice cream sundae as opposed to hot fudge!
Histoires extraordinaires (1968)
Fellini's Fun but the other two put you to sleep...
Those 5 out of 10 stars go only to the Fellini piece which is the last of the three.
The first tale directed by Vadim starring both Jane & Peter Fonda is the cheapest looking of the three. Maybe Fellini actually made his part first and used up most of the budget for this flick. Who knows! Anyway, this first part is really only worthwhile to see Ms. Fonda looking gorgeous at the height of her beauty. Other than that, it's a total snoozer. Literally will put you to sleep. Not much dialoug even, just lots of scenes with Jane riding around on a horse.
The second part directed by Louis Malle starring Alain Delon is more straight forward in narrative but tells a boring story. Bridget Bardot is totally wasted in her part of the movie as a gorgeous heavily eye-lined courtesan playing a game of cards with the star. Mr. Delon is a boring as hell actor and Mr. Malle's boring direction only makes matters worse.
Finally when you think this movie couldn't get any worse, you're right and in comes Mr. Fellini with his third of the movie. Immediately your taken by surprise at the production values and are amazed at how expensive the movie looks and you realize HERE is the grade A production you've been waiting for! Now to be honest, the story really didn't grab me and frankly, Mr. Fellini is not one for subtlety when he's trying to make a point, but he is a master at creating fun visuals to simply look at and enjoy. And the best performance in the movie goes to the great Terrance Stamp who doesn't fail to impress us here. I think if you just showed this last third of the movie at a college it would get a great response.
If you never catch this flick, don't worry about it. But if you're one of those die hard movie fans who like to be able to cross unseen movies off their list, well then, give it a go I guess.
One of the best movies of the 80s
This movie has been a favorite of mine for years. I JUST finished watching it again this afternoon and found it to be as good since the last time I saw it.
It's a rare & unique piece of film making that rises above the subject matter it covers and becomes its own piece of cinematic art.
The movie tells the tale of a new, young reporter arriving in Jakarta on the brink of civil war. This is played by 20something Mel Gibson turning in a wonderful performance as a naive reporter learning the ways of politics in a foreign culture.
He is selected as a protégé by Billy Kwan, a photographer played by Linda Hunt. (Yes she plays a man's character in the movie and quite convincingly).
While there, Mel Gibson meets Sigourny Weaver who has been working there for about 5 years and is set to leave in a matter of weeks.
The movie shows how the Billy Kwan character picks Mel's character as a protégé if you will, because he sees something within Mel that he believes has a greater depth than the rest of the typical press corp.
Billy's character also comments on the fact that both he & Mel are born of parents of two different countries and perhaps that is why they don't 'fit' in with the typical mentality of your everyday press corp.
Peter Weir creates a wonderful, mystical atmosphere in this movie that touches on several themes of brotherhood, loyalty and empathy of foreign cultures to name a few.
The music is reminiscent of Chariots of Fire and works well to heighten the tension.
Ms. Weaver is restrained and effective in her handling of her role of a woman of well heeled background who has perhaps become hardened to the strife around her yet carries within her a true loyalty and passion for the good cause.
Mel Gibson must navigate himself through the intrigues surrounding him and learn what's important in his quest to get the big story.
I think Weir has created a cinematically compelling tale that concerns itself with more than the superficial as most stories covering this ground would do.
The movie delivers on many levels and really deserves a higher place in the pantheon of movies than it currently enjoys.
If you enjoy movies with plenty of tropical atmosphere, good performances, and the unexpected movie 'moment', than you can't go wrong by choosing this flick.
I think it's a great film.
If you know the old Bette Davis classic, THE LETTER, than you'll get an idea of the sense of the tropics the movie conveys.
The Shuttered Room (1967)
The scares won't give you a heart attack but all the CHEESE in this movie just might!
Carol Lynley has never looked lovelier, I'll say that for this movie. Unfortunately, she also gives perhaps one of the worst performances of her career. She was never that much of an actress to begin with but she did have a certain charm and she had that slightly raspy voice which gave her a uniqueness of her own. In this movie, however, her emotional scale ranges from dazed to slightly annoyed.
Gig Young, is ridiculously miscast as her husband. Certainly he's too old for Ms. Lynley or she's to young for him, whichever but they make an odd couple either way.
I think I enjoyed Mr. Young's performance the most as he chose to play it practically as if he were in one of those martini, living room light comedies. Too funny.
Flora Robson turns in her usual good performances even if the words she has to say are ridiculous.
And then there's Mr. Reed. Ah yes, Oliver Reed. Playing a role he was probably born to play as a Neanderthal, boorish thug in incredibly tight blue jeans! I love when he corners Ms. Lynley and licks her ear! Oh baby! The movie starts out promising and seems to strike the right New England Gothic chill note. But within about ten minutes or so the situations start to become ridiculous. The type of thing where you see something on the screen and you start yelling at it and saying things like: "Why are you following them if they just tried to drive you off the road?!"....Things like that.
The plot just gets sillier and sillier and looses any kind of scary hold it might have had.
But I'll say it again: Ms. Lynley was simply GORGEOUS! I kept thinking she'd be great to play Michelle Pfieffer's mother in a current movie! If I had to recommend this flick, I'd say have some movie buffs over for drinks and have a great time making fun of this silly waste of time.
Barefoot Contessa (2002)
Simply the best
This cooking show is outstanding for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost, is Ina Garten. She has such a relaxed speaking voice that you can't not help but feel relaxed. Her entire demeanor is one of a relaxed, good friend. You get the feeling that you're a long time friend of hers & you're simply sitting on a stool in her kitchen & she's talking with you as she prepares her meal.
Her recipes of course are always tantalizing and I always get hungry watching her show.
Her East Hampton home is classy & elegant without being pretentious.
And it's great that she doesn't focus solely on the food but brings in the other elements to fine dining: that being table set-ups, location and of course people! It's fun to see the different locales on her show; whether it's her own back yard, or the beach or a friend's home.
Ina Garten is a class act in this world of crass, kitchy-ness!
Quality Street (1937)
Lackluster piece though Hepburn & Tone are good
Hard to believe that this film, produced by the great Pandro Berman, directed by the formidable George Stevens & acted by a cast of A-list talent, led by Katharine Hepburn & Franchot Tone could turn out so poorly.
I think a lot of the fault lies in the way the movie was photographed. It's extremely stagy. As if the movie were being acted on a stage and simply shot.
Also, too much of the movie takes place in one house set. When the movie finally shifts locales it's SUCH a welcome relief. There are even some genuine outside shots that breathe fresh air into the movie. Unfortunately, they pass all to quickly and soon enough where back in that darn house room set!
Of course, the plot is rather silly made even more so by the fact that the "ten years older" version of Hepburn basically looks as if they simply didn't put any makeup on her. So when her character simply puts on a pretty dress, does her hair & puts on some makeup to transform her into her "niece" and Franchot Tone actually buys this, well of course it's ridiculous. But I suppose that's a classic Shakespearean device so who am I to quibble.
At least the movie DOES get better once Hepburn has to play both herself & her niece.
Still, the movie is ultimately forgettable.
I think small children might like it actually due to it's very simplistic and almost childish presentation.
Oh and poor Estelle Winwood really does look like Marty Feldman (Igor from 1974's YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN).
Incident at Loch Ness (2004)
PUNKED run amok!
Well I had to laugh because I had quickly recorded this on TIVO for future viewing as I was browsing through what was on TV & then watched this at a much later date. I thought at the time that I was recording a REAL documentary.
So when I started to watch, I ACTUALLY thought I WAS watching a documentary about Werner Herzog filming a documentary abut the Loch Ness monster.
For about the first quarter of the film, all I could think from the rather odd goings on, was: "It's true what they say about Hollywood folk - They're all as#-H*les! Then about half way through, it got to the point where what I was seeing was SO stupid, that I had the realization that I was being punked.
Sooo...I had a laugh at myself but as the film got sillier and sillier the enjoyment factor really went steadily downhill.
I'm sure the people who made the film will enjoy pulling it out every few years and have a few chuckles with their friends, but from an audience perspective, there's really not much to sink your teeth into.
Basically it really DOES play like a very long MTV PUNKED show episode.
But hey, if you're into this kind of silliness, well then I guess you'll enjoy the show.
Personally, I think what you should REALLY do with this film is show it to a bunch of impressionable 12 year olds & not tell them that the whole show is one supposed joke.
As a parent, I think THAT would hilarious!
Old Joy (2006)
Atmospheric, impressionistic piece falls short of what it could have been...
I just finished watching this on DVD at home.
I did enjoy the film though it could have achieved a greater depth.
At just over 70 minutes, the movie is short, which is fine. In fact, I think one should approach this film like one would a short story. Don't expect a full novel's worth of plot.
Some of the comments have talked about the dialog between the two main characters as being..well..underdeveloped at best. And while this is true, it could also be seen as exactly the point of where the relationship between these two friends is at. Unfortunately, it can also lead to less than compelling viewing for the audience.
I must admit, I was sorry to see one reviewer talk about the scene where the one guy gives the other a shoulder rub as an overblown homo-erotic moment. I think that was simply the one character's way of literally getting in touch with his friend. Obviously neither friend seemed to be able to reach the other one verbally, so I think this was simply a spontaneous way for the one friend to reach out and bond with his friend and offer a simple shoulder rub. I think sometimes in our jaded world, we can't even let any physical contact be simply an act of affection.
Like I said, I DID like the movie. It's beautiful, nice and slow and doesn't try to be more than what it is.
And it was a refreshing change to see a film (short though it was) just be DIFFERENT than 99% of the stuff that's usually offered.
For that alone, it really does deserve a mention.
Most overrated movie of all time?
Well I don't really know where to begin. I am totally at a loss as to why this is considered a great film. In my opinion, the movie isn't even a good film let alone great.
No matter how I approach the film, I can't really think of anything good to say! Let's start with the cinematography: Big nothing. There's nothing about how this film was shot that would make it stand out in any way. In fact, I'd say the film was poorly shot.
The lead actresses: Neither of the two lead actresses in my opinion brought anything of substance to their performances. Forgetting the fact that neither actress was in any way physically interesting to look at...nothing special in the looks department nor did either actress at least have just an interesting style or some quirky, feature that one could at least debate...like say the American actress/comedian Sandra Bernhard...Nope..just plain janes with no style or anything. Nor did their performances strike any kind of note..simply blah. It's as if the director had taken two women from a bar one night and said: "You can star in my movie!" The plot: Meandering at best. And I love movies that don't necessarily have a strong plot. Films of Michael Anonioni come to mind where not much happens, yet Antonioni brings so much subtext & mystery & atmosphere to his films whereas this film...well forget it. Actually the plot reminds me as nothing more than an amateur attempt at making a home movie.
The actual writing: No great memorable lines. No style to speak of. A junior high school student could have written the screen play for this movie.
Editing: Frankly, I don't think the movie was edited. Except for a couple of times in the movie where he inserts a quick cut here and there, I think all the director did was put together everything he shot and called it a movie.
So what is this movie about? Well it's really not about much of anything. Two women meet & move in together and have lots of boring conversations then they start to kind of have these weird fantasies. You can read the other reviews for more detailed info.
So why then does this movie have the reputation it does? I think a lot has to do with what the movie was trying to accomplish. The intellectual aspirations of the movie in my opinion blinded the critics at the time. I think they were so pleased to see a movie attempt to be more than a simple narrative that they praised it way more than the film deserves. And certainly in the late 60s early 70s there was this sensibility that simply being different, not mainstream gave a film a certain cache.
A notable film from the same time period that also had a surreal bent to it and does deserve its reputation is le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie made by Luis Bunuel in 1972. Of course, Bunuel started the whole surrealism game back in the 20s with his Un chien andalou.
So I don't really know what to say about this film. I mean one of my favorite films is 2001 A Space Odyssey which is notoriously slow and lacks much dialog at all, yet is hailed as a masterpiece which I agree with.
I really do think the fact that it was considered cutting edge for it's day and yes, dare I say, that is was a FRENCH film I think a lot of critics really felt embarrassed not to jump on the praise parade.
Don't feel bad if you miss this flick or if you do happen to see it and can't see what all the fuss is about.
This film really is much ado about nothing.
70s Style with the great William Holden
I'd never heard of this movie but was flipping channels and saw an early 70s movie with William Holden in one of his last movies & Kay Lenz in her first movie & I thought to myself, I just HAVE to check this out. To my surprise when the credits came on & I saw the movie was directed by none other than Clint Eastwood, well I just had to give it a chance.
It's a funny story that has William Holden as the older divorced man who by a turn of events meets young hippie/drifter Kay Lenz.
Anyway, while the story itself really isn't all that engaging it is fun to see William Holden turn in a very accomplished performance.
Kay Lenz while cute enough in the beginning begins to become repetitous in her one note delivery.
Also, the sex scenes though brief are a bit gruesome as Holden though still an attractive man, at his age, looks like Lenz's grandfather. Lenz barely looks out of her teens if that. It's Lolita without the danger.
It IS however, fun to see the 70s "look" in the furniture, the cars, the clothes, the whole California vibe! So all in all, if you're looking for a real 70s period piece with Ms. Lenz's ample beauty thrown in, it's certainly a fun movie.
The preachy screenplay gets a bit ponderous as the movie wears on though, so beware of that.
But if you can keep your sense of humor about it all & not take it too seriously, it's fun to go back in time.
Oh & try to forget the scene where they go to the beach to see the sunrise over the water...Hmmm, last time I checked the sun rose in the EAST & set in the WEST!
Go EAST Young Man
Okay, so I'm a big movie buff & I just HAD to say I've seen this movie at least ONCE! Unfortunately, once was certainly more than enough.
Really bad movie here with not even enough 'kitsch' or 'camp' to make it worthwhile.
While the movie is certainly presented tongue in cheek, it still relies to heavily on the idea that Mae West at 85 is somehow still a desirable sexy vamp.
Sorry but it just don't wash! Adding insult to injury is the fact that again, at 85, Mae West delivers all her lines in basically the same delivery: basically a parody of her earlier self.
So in many respects the movie comes off as rather gruesome.
If it had gone more over the top, PERHAPS it might have at least achieved some sort of John Waters sensibility.
As it is, it plays like one long boring Love Boat episode.
Really there is nothing in this movie that merits anyone wasting their time in viewing it.
So viewers beware, unless you're some crazy movie fan, who feels the need to cross a movie off his 'never seen list' (like me!!!) than do yourself a favor and skip it.
Instead watch Ms. West's films from the 30s. They're actually not all that bad.
Don't say you haven't been warned!
Roxie Hart (1942)
Ginger's SHINE can't take the dullness out of this pic!
A lot of the comments made about this movie are true.
Ginger Rogers is fine in her part but she needed a stronger leading man than this George Montgomery guy (someone I'd never heard of before!).
He's a real dullard & a typical 2nd string actor that was found a lot during the WWII years when major Hollywood leading men were off at war.
That being said, her "leading man" doesn't really have a major role in the picture anyway, so Ginger's pretty much gotta carry the picture but without a suave leading man, she's sort of left out there to flounder.
While Ginger's good, she's just not strong enough of an actress to not have a first class leading man opposite her.
Adolph Menjou, while a top notch professional, was too old to provide any romantic sparks.
The movie's a big disappointment. I got the DVD out of the library but stopped paying attention after about 20 minutes and turned it completely off later.
There's a reason this movie isn't better known. Because it's not very good.
For movie buffs like me, it's worth it to catch some of it, to be able to scratch it off the list I suppose but it's certainly not a movie I'll ever feel the need to see again.
Shame, cuz Ginger IS cute as anything in it!
The Thing About My Folks (2005)
Excellent film w/outstanding performance by Peter Falk
I won't go into too much detail about the plot of this movie as other reviewers have covered pretty much the same ground.
Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the film very much. Peter Falk's performance alone is reason enough to watch the film.
A small scale 'road trip' movie with Falk & Paul Reiser in upstate NY in the fall is the setting for most of the action in the film.
Very well written with an adult target audience in mind. Plenty of reality based humor & some well played drama give the film a feeling that it could be your own family.
Really can't say enough about this film except that it's a damn shame that a lovely movie like this doesn't get more exposure while other trashy junk out there does.
It's great to see Falk with a big leading man role again & he makes the most of it. It proves that his famous friend & writer/director John Casavettes was right in casting Falk in many of his ground breaking films of the 60s & 70s.
Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
Simplistic screenplay dumbs down this war flick.
Certainly not one of Eastwood's best.
The action scenes are fine & really only the part of the movie I enjoyed.
The drama is very forced and trite and keeps repeating the same theme over and over again.
I'm one of those movie viewers who simply watches a film, doesn't try to guess what's going to happen in the movie & typically can't figure it out anyway, but in this movie the main theme is just hammered into your head over and over again.
The theme? A country needs heroes in wartime but the people who become heroes, are just that, people, no different in the final analysis than anyone else.
Well duh...Maybe this is news to fourteen year olds, but to adults, it's something we learned a long time ago.
Ryan Phillippe didn't do much with his role except pout and furrow his brow at times. He's of the Scarlett Johansson school of acting.
The format of the movie is tedious as it constantly cuts back & forth via flashbacks to the battle of Iwo Jima & the 'heroes' back in the states being feted.
Really trite moralizing of the most obvious kind.
Major disappointment from Brooks....
I was very surprised at how poor this movie turned out to be.
Thank goodness it's not terribly long! Boy did the marketing guys make a good trailer for this film! Brooks uses comedy schlock that was tired back in the '40s & then wonders why no one in India laughs.
In some ways, the movie is slightly insulting..insulting to us the audience, insulting to the people of India.
I don't even want to go into much detail about this movie because it's just not worth it.
Plays out like one long bad failed sit-com.
Where oh where is the talent levels displayed in The Muse & Mother? And I'm a huge Brooks fan.
Oh well, I guess every performer is allowed one big dud!
Happy Endings (2005)
Good performances but some poor directorial/writing choices...
It's not a bad film, but there are some problems with it.
This film is one of those multiple storyline flix where all the characters wind up being integrated at the end.
What's good about the film? The performances are pretty solid especially that of Lisa Kudrow who probably should have been nominated for a supporting Oscar. Kudrow can play understated with the best of them but when some dramatic punch is needed she delivers in that area as well.
Maggie Gyllenhaal turns in an accomplished performance in a particularly tough role because her character is one you could easily hate yet you don't and that's a testament to her acting as much as it is to the writing. AND big discovery is that she gets to sing throughout the movie and she has quite a nice voice. I'm thinking she probably sings even better in real life but because of the part she wasn't supposed to show the full range of her voice though at the end of the movie she is allowed to sing better than she has in the rest of the movie.
Tom Arnold- of all people - also turns in quite a nice performance as a single dad out there in the dating world.
Peter Horton - of thirtysomething TV fame - has a couple of small appearances in the movie and he's a welcome sight. Mr. Horton is such a unique performer in both style and appearance. It's such a shame he doesn't perform more in larger roles.
The writing of the movie is pretty good too. Certainly the plot is original and for the most part well told.
Unfortunately, the writer/director of this movie chose to insert title cards throughout the movie by use of a split screen technique, where some written text is provided supposedly giving deeper insight into what's currently happening, or providing some historical information about the characters or detailing what will happen to the characters in the future. It's an unnecessary and immature approach that undermines the movie. It's as if the writer/director doesn't have enough faith in the audience to figure out the subtext. And it also a bit controlling. Half the fun of a movie is being able to talk about it with friends after viewing it and coming up with your own story lines about what happens to the characters etc. Now this sort of technique might work in more juvenile fare, here it's use is amateurish. It seriously takes the viewer out of the moment every time one of these pop-ups occur. Odd because the storyline has enough going for it that it's as if the writer/director couldn't leave well enough alone.
Case in point, one of those 'POP-UPs' has to tell us that the movie where about to see is actually ' a comedy-sort of'. It's completely unnecessary...we as the audience are quite capable of figuring that out.
So is it a comedy or is it a drama? Well, I'd say it's more of a drama with some comedic elements as well which really is one of the strengths of the movie. It's just a shame the writer/director didn't have enough faith in his story in that he felt he had to rely on these text inserts to clue his audience in.
I did enjoy the movie but with a little editing, i.e., getting rid of these pop-ups the movie could have felt more moving and I would have been engaged in it so much more.
She's So Lovely (1997)
Unbelievable plot line seriously undermines well performed flick.
Was very disappointed in this film.
Where to start? Well first of all, most of the movie is really just set-up for the last 1/4 of the movie yet nothing really much happens in all this time so I found myself just wondering when John Travolta would enter the picture.
I guess the major problem with the movie is that Robin Wright Penn's character doesn't progress at all. Though there's supposed to be this time span of ten years between the first 3/4 of the movie and the last.
So in the last 1/4 of the movie we find Robin Wright Penn's character in this home in the suburbs, married with kids and all, yet it's played as if she just stepped out of the gutter of the proceeding portion of the movie. Really makes no sense at all.
It's a fairy tale and totally unbelievable.
***SPOILERS AHEAD**** And to accept the fact that she would just run off with Sean Penn's character (who's been in the nut house for 10 years) even though she hasn't kept in touch with him in all those years and has a new husband (Travolta) and kids and a whole life, yet she just leaves it all behind is just so silly.
A similar scenario was played out much better in the end of the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks & Helen Hunt. In that movie he returns from the dead after having been stranded on an island for years. When he returns, he finds Hunt married with kids. Though they profess their love for each other, she of course, says she simply can't run off with him and leave her kids and her present husband. THAT folks is reality.
What we have presented in this movie is just so much silliness. Shame too, because the acting's not bad.
But basically what you have is a movie where the first 3/4 of it is one long boring set-up followed by a quick totally unbelievable last 1/4.
Charming low-budget film with the incomparable Brooke Adams
Glad to see some positive reviews of this movie. As for the negative reviews, I think those viewers didn't quite think their comments through before they submitted them.
First of all, you have to realize that this film was probably made on a shoe string. That in and of itself is going to limit the scope of what the film can accomplish.
The fact that they did succeed in bringing some visual and plot innovations into the movie is to be applauded.
Like the storyline/presentation of the movie-within-a-movie, Made-Up doesn't take itself too seriously even while it does touch upon some some serious issues.
Personally I watched the movie simply to see Brooke Adams and I wasn't disappointed. I really appreciate that she's such a unique woman with her own signature style. It was great seeing her in a leading role again.
It's ironic of course (and that's part of the point of the movie) that like the character she plays in the movie, she too has had her difficulties in securing major roles in mainstream movies simply due to the fact that there are so few substantive roles for women in their 50s...hell, for women in their 40s! I think the movie accomplished quite nicely what it set out to be. I'd also like to see more of Lynne Adams, who wrote the screenplay and co-starred.
Tony Shalhoub was delightful as ever in his role as a nervous restaurant owner who dreams of acting glory.
Unique Lyrical Piece of film making...
Have always wondered about this film so I finally got the DVD out of the library and gave it a try.
The film had much more depth than I was expecting. I really enjoyed it quite a lot.
First of all, the pairing of two screen legends, Vivien Leigh & Warren Beatty was just too much of a curiosity for me to resist. Quite frankly I'm surprised it took me this long to watch it.
Both lead stars were excellent in their roles.
Miss Leigh was restrained and delivered a role that did not slide into caricature.
More surprisingly was Mr. Beatty who was totally believable in his role as a Roman gigolo. Though I must confess in the very first minutes of his screen time I giggled, but that has more to do with my own lack of imagination then it did with Mr. Beatty's performance. Quite frankly, within five minutes, I was sitting up in my chair and realizing that this guy was delivering a very assured and compelling performance.
Lotte Lenya in rare screen role was amazingly modern & fresh in her delivery. She's one actress who's reputation holds up seen through 21st century eyes.
I thought this interpretation of a Tennesse Williams' novella was extremely well done and refreshingly different from the typical studio fare of its day.
I'd recommend this film to anyone who would take it seriously and give it half a chance. You'll be more than rewarded.