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Finding Neverland (2004)
Amazing and sad at the same time.
There are some movies that inspire me, give me hope, and make my soul ache like no other. This is one of them. The film all around amazing. All of the acting is wonderful. The sound, design, and cinematography is amazing. However, the true star is the story. While it might not be exactly true, I really don't think that it matters to much. From watching the film I feel as though it was written with nothing but emotion. It is in every word, it is in every set piece, and it is all simply amazing. Just don't watch this film expecting happiness. While there is that, this is more about pain, imagination, and deep sadness. Again, it was one of the most amazing movies that I have ever seen, but I think that it will be a very long time before I ever see it again.
Bowling for Columbine (2002)
So who's to blame?
So who is to blame?? Is it the government, the NRA, the media, guns, parents, music, movies, K-Mart, television, Lockheed, or is it simply ourselves? That seems to be the question that Michael Moore is posing in Bowling for Columbine. However, he never seems to present an answer. If you want to blame guns, then blame guns. The media, then the media. It seems like he had no clear idea going into this, and leaves with no clear idea coming out of it. He seems to blame the media, then he blames the government, then he blames the NRA. There is no doubt that this documentary is well made, and that Michael Moore is a masterful editor who uses the best of the footage that he gets to illustrate his points, and heighten the emotional impact of his ideas, but unlike his other "documentaries" he seems doesn't seem to know where to go with this one. He doesn't seem to be able to show who is to blame. I do have to commend him on his equal attacks on the presidencies of Clinton and Bush however. It seems that people want to blame Bush for everything lately, and he very clearly shows that Clinton had a hand in some violent things that people would quickly protest had Bush done it. I am not a Bush supporter either. I just desire fair viewing of both. A word to those who watch this film, know your history, it will help you seperate skewed facts from truths.
On another note, I have no idea if there is any truth to the accusation that Michael Moore created some of the situations so that he could film them, but take this with a grain of salt as you probably would everything else. And another thing, Marylin Manson is an very well educated individual and he makes some very valid points.
Living Will (1999)
I believe that this was done for one of the Fly on the Wall festivals. It was pretty funny. Well acted, and there were just some really funny moments.
This is one of those that make you feel really embarrassed for the main character. Short and to the point, well made, and funny. Couldn't really ask for anymore. If you have a chance, watch it. It won't take up too much time in your life, and you might feel that it was well worth it.
On another note, if you pay attention, you might be able to notice some bloopers that they just sort of left in because it worked.
Like a Razor
I think that this is some of David Mamet's best work ever. His direction is just so on the spot. Not to mention, he knows exactly where he wants the camera, and what he wants to reveal with each shot. He plants, and he pays off every time with no implausibilty what so ever. Despite what some people say, I think that Val Kilmer is excellent for this role, and I think that his delivery of lines, and his acting style works for this character. Val Kilmer is really making some good role choices lately, and I hope he can keep it up. Maybe he can pull his career out of the tail spin it is in. Anyway, Mamet's story's are always excellent, but this one seems to be just head and shoulders above the rest lately. I just wish studios would push his films more. His stuff is always much better then the crap they normally put out.
Double Indemnity (1944)
Sharp. Really sharp.
This is a dynamite piece of filmmaking by Billy Wilder. Wilder is in my opinion a very underrated director, much like John Houston. The acting is in top form from all of the players. The cinematography is crisp, and beautiful. The sound is nice and clear, and the direction is arguably some of Wilder's best. However, the real star is the screenplay. First off, it was taken from excellent source material. James Cain is always great for a story where nobody wins out. Check out The Postman Always Rings Twice for an example. But it is Chandler who I think really put this one on the map. Chandler has a way with dialogue that makes it all ring in your ears. The lines are smooth, and the characters always say something that makes me wish I could be that clever and smooth in everyday situations. Chandler knows dialogue, Chandler knows LA, and Chandler knows how to deliver a story. Check out any of his novels, and you will see this. This is a teamup that I really wish would have happened again. Oh well. If you don't mind voice over narration, then this is a film for you.
Bob le flambeur (1956)
Great film with many copiers
Bob the High Roller is really what this film is called. Le Flambeur is kind of a slang term for high roller, or at least it used to be. This is quite a nice little film. It has a tight story, beautiful cinematography, and a neat ending. Look for shades of this film in Ocean's Eleven, and in most other heist movies that you watch. The acting is decent, but I don't really expect to much in the way of acting from films of this era. The film just has this style and grace that many other films just can not capture, especially today. This is not especially a heist movie, it is more of a movie that follows a story around the heist. Besides, the main character, Bob, just looks really cool.
Kurt is the heart and soul of this movie. His performance as is one of the best out of him that I have seen in a long time. When you go to this movie, you know that you are going to be getting a U-S-A U-S-A U-S-A movie, but it really just makes you feel good, not cheap or cheesy. I personally enjoyed it, and if you remotely like hockey, then I would say its for you.
The Butterfly Effect (2004)
I wanted to love this
I really wanted to love this film. As it was, it was alright, but it could have been much better. First of all, there was some serious acting issues in the film. Ashton wasn't so bad, but other parts of the cast, like his mom, really was. The story was cool, but there were some really forced plot points in the beginning, and in the very end which hurts the film. It seems to me that the makers had this great idea, and knew in general what they wanted to do, but needed a quick way out because they just couldn't figure out what else to do. All of the plot problems could have easily been solved though with just a little reworking. No other real major complaints, and fairly enjoyable.
The Last Samurai (2003)
I fell that this was a very energetic piece of film. Everything was well planned out, well shot, well written, well directed, and very well acted. My only complaint was that there were some very odd editing choices that really stood out when I was watching the movie. Normally I miss these type of things the first time around, but there were a few that were just really jumped at me. I would give this film a 10 if it weren't for the last 15 or so seconds, which I feel was not needed, and for the notoriously bad shot of Tom Cruise on the horse in the final battle. That was really bad and hard to miss, shame on them for putting that in. Also, I think that this will get some nominations from the academy, but I don't think it will win anything major. I could be wrong though. 9/10
The Missing (2003)
Granted, what will happen in the end is kind of predictable, but this movie was really quite good. Tommy Lee Jones was his usual cool self, but I think that the real acting marks go to Cate Blanchett in the role of Maggie. I think that this film had a great and well written story with good performances, especially from the kids who are notoriously hard to work with. I felt that the movie was well paced, with excellent cinematography, and had some great sound. Nice to see Ron "Opie Cunningham" Howard do a western. Who says you can't go west unless you're Clint Eastwood?
Beautiful. Pure. Simple.
When I say that this film was beautiful, I really mean that. Every shot in the film is a work of art. You could take a frame and enlarge it and be proud to have that beautiful photograph on your wall. When I say that it is pure, it really is. The movie is nothing but delightful with fun and interesting characters, it is also a movie that retains an air of innocence, even though this girl has become somewhat of a peeping tom. When I say that it is simple, I mean it in a good way. This movie seems to be a labor of love, and makes a viewer feel good. A must see.
Europa Europa (1990)
The print that I saw of this film was stunning. Come to think of it, every aspect of this film was well though out, excellently executed, and just as stunning. And just like any other film that deals with the plight of the Jewish people during WWII, this is not a feel good film that will have you wanting to watch it again and again. Very well made and well acted film.
I was impressed
I was really impressed by this movie. I honestly didn't expect much, and really could not have cared either way if i saw this movie or not. However, I did end up seeing it, and really enjoyed it. Every actor did a fantastic job, the story kept me interested, and the direction and cinematography were sweeping and beautiful in their use. The only thing that bothered me every now and then was the narration, but I quickly forgot about that. Even if you are not into horses, this is a film that you should see.
What do you expect
This was bad, this was really really bad. I think they spent about $25 in the making of this film and blackmailed the actors to perform in the movie. What really amazes me to no end is the in the credits, it said that this movie was based on a book!! How on earth does something like this happen? I must find this book to see if it was as bad as the movie. Only to be watched while intoxicated with a group of friends.
This movie has no point, no plot, and is just one giant random chain of events. Maybe that is the point, maybe not. I personally don't see how this movie got made, nor do I really understand how sequals were made to it. The way to see this film is with a large group of people that are all drinking and having a good time. As far as seeing a quality horror movie, watch something else.
I love this movie. I think that the acting by all of the players, especially the kids, was top notch. I thought that the story was fantastic, the direction was smooth and pretty seemless when shifting from past to present. The absence of large amounts of blood and gore from this movie reminds me of the way some of the old masters used to film their horror scenes, and I think that in this film it was all the more effective. I love the twists, and I love the may the film was made all around.
Black Hawk Down (2001)
This is a fine example of how films should be made. Granted, Ridley Scott was at the helm, and he always makes a perfect film from a technical standpoint. This movie had fantastic pace, some great acting, with the exception of Ewan Mcgregor, and well perfect filmmaking. One of the best war films that I have ever seen. However, be prepared for a lot of blood, and some heavy downer moments.
Bad Boys II (2003)
This is all that Michael Bay is good for
This is a summer movie pure and simple. This does not mean that it is good. First the plus sides. There are quite a bit of funny scenes in the movie. Martin Lawrence and Will Smith have a great chemistry and make the movie work. Quirky characters keep you interested and add to the comedy of the film. Now the bad, the story is weak, and mostly just and excuse for explosions, gun battles, and slick scenery. Some funny lines are beat to death, and become annoying. The quirky characters become annoying or dissapear from the film completly. I could go on and on. What this movie boils down to is that it is all glam and no substance. Although, if you are seeing this film, than this is what you are expecting.
I was very pleased when I saw this film. I thought all of the actors did a fine job, that there were just enough cameos to keep you interested without distracting, the story was great and fun while being thought provoking at times. The only drag is that it was made on a very tight budget, and it shows, which is a shame. I wish Hollywood would put money into films like this as opposed to Bad Boys II and Tomb Raider. Oh well, can't always get what you want.
Dressed to Kill (1980)
slow at first.
This movie is kind of slow until the first killing, and then it really picks up. I have to say that I was pretty hooked, and couldn't call the ending even with the little clues that were thrown in. The only thing that this film suffers form is some of the corny mugging for the camera during the nude scenes. Also, the first killing doesn't really hold up as well now, but if you can get past that, this is not a bad way to pass the time.
Femme Fatale (2002)
What the . . . .
I am not really sure what to say about this film. I liked it at times, and then I hated it at others. I kind of think that the ending was a cop out, and then I am not really sure. The more I think about it, it kind of upsets me, which is making me think that I didn't really like it all that much. De Palma seems kind of like a pervert the more movies of his that I watch. Technically well made. Some interesting camera movement, and a few nice twists in the story keep it interesting, but the over the top acting form Rebecca Romjin kind of sinks the film back down. All in all, not a horrible film, but you can certainly find a better De Palma film than this one.
Dark Blue (2002)
Could have been great.
Something was missing from this film, and I am not sure what it was. The back setting of the emminent Rodney King roits was excellent, as well as the corruption of the police department officials and the cops themselves. The characterization of the corrupt cops doing whatever it takes to get the job done is very interesting. The movie portrayed scenes of tension excellently, but over all, the movie just did not quite gel together. Going from excellent to slightly boring form scene to scene leaves me with the impression that it could have been great.
Johnny Depp is a good actor, has always been a good actor, and will always be a good actor. With that said, Geoffrey Rush also did a fine job as the leader of the cursed pirates. While it is fun and good, it isn't perfect. It is a little tame for a pirate movie, but that is to be expected from Disney. Anyway, fun stuff all the way through, that doesn't have you checking your watch. It didn't feel like 2 and 1/2 hours. 7.5/10
worst of the series
This is by far, the worst of the Alien series. The idea is kinda neat, but the execution was just really bad. There is no suspense, no terror, and I really did not care if Ripley made it through this one or not. The most disapointing thing to me is that they never explored the mutation, if that was what it was of the Alien in the prison, what was different about it. The only reason to see this is so that you can go on to the final installment of the Alien series.
Road House (1989)
Story. Junk. Acting. Junk. Direction. Junk. Movie in general. Junk. This is really not a good movie. Personally I feel that the Only real reasons to see it are the nude scenes that really are not that good in the first place. Women who like Sam Elliot and Patrick Sleaze bag will watch it and might even like it. Rest assured, that this is a relic from the late 80's that should not be dug up.